HERD FALLS 7-5 IN SERIES FINALE WITH WKU
Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short For Marshall
BOWLING GREEN, KY—The Thundering Herd baseball team fell 7-5 to C-USA opponent Western Kentucky Sunday on a cold and windy day at Nick Denes Field. Marshall racked up 16 hits, but just couldn’t find a way to cross home plate for much of the game.
The loss puts The Herd at 15-17 (5-10 C-USA) on the season, while the Hilltoppers improved to 17-18 (7-8 C-USA).
Reynaldo Pastrana, Will Ray, and Kody Matthews were the most effective bats for the Herd. Pastrana continued his strong series with three hits, a run, and an RBI. Ray also had three hits to go along with a run and a walk. Matthews batted in three runs in two hits and looks more comfortable every day in a starting role.
Marshall starting pitcher Zac McNeel picked up his second loss of the season to move to 1-2. McNeel pitched 4 1/3 innings allowing seven hits, six runs (four earned), and walking three with three strikeouts.
WKU’s Michael Martin earned his first win of the season to move to 1-1. The relief pitcher pitched 1 1/3 innings giving up two hits, no runs, and striking out four batters with no walks.
Western Kentucky jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Marshall responded in the top of the second with a run of its own when Geordon Blanton singled to center field allowing Hutzal to score from third and make it a 2-1 game.
The Hilltoppers added two more runs in the bottom of the inning.
The Herd kept it close with another run in the third, this time off the bat of Matthews, who singled to center to score Ray from second base and make it a 4-2 ball game.
Two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth gave the Hilltoppers a seven two lead that wouldn’t be threatened until the bottom of the ninth inning.
Shane Hanon got on base with a single, stole second, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Ray earned a 3-1 walk, and then Pastrana hit a double down the left field line to easily score Hanon. Matthews then came to the plate with two outs and hit a 2-RBI single to give the Herd a chance, but the deficit was too much to overcome in a half inning and WKU walked away with the 7-5 victory.
Marshall finished the day with five runs off of 16 hits with three errors. Western Kentucky had seven runs off 10 hits with one error.
Up next the Herd faces the Ohio University Bobcats (17-17) Tuesday at Kennedy Center Field in Huntington, West Virginia with the first pitch being tossed at 3 p.m.