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Ohio Downs @HerdBaseball with Walk-Off Homer in Extras

April 20, 2017

Final Stats

Box Score (PDF)

MASON, Ohio – The Marshall baseball team erased a four-run deficit on Wednesday night but came up short in its midweek game against the Ohio Bobcats in extra innings, 11-10, at Prasco Park.  
Relief Pitcher Mark Meyer (0-1) collected his first loss of his collegiate career. Despite the setback, Meyer was dominate on the mound that allowed Marshall to mount a comeback. The Dalton, Ohio native tossed four scoreless innings. Meyer finished with five innings pitched with two runs on six hits. He had four strikeouts. Marshall drops to 18-19 with the loss.
Ohio improves to 17-19 overall. Relief pitcher Connor McMann (1-0) earned his first win of the season. He tossed one inning and allowed one run on one hit.
Marshall got on the board first by pushing a run across in the top of the first. Will Ray and Tyler Ratliff led off with back-to-back singles. Shane Hanon followed later in the frame with a high-chopping single through the left side that scored Ray.
The Herd lead didn’t last long as Ohio homered in the first and second inning. Spencer Ibarra led off the bottom of the first with a home run to center field. In the second, Anthony Mrosla homered to left field to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead.
It was Marshall’s turn to show off its power in the top of the third with a pair of home runs. After Ratliff was hit by a pitch, Sam Finfer hit a 2-run homer to right field. Hanon kept the inning going with a double to right center. He came around to score on a towering 2-run homer by Andrew Zban.
The Bobcats went on to take an 8-5 lead in the bottom of the fourth by scoring six runs. Mrosla hit his second home run of the ballgame by blasting a three-run homer to right center. Ohio scored three runs on a Leo Valenti fielding error and a dropped fly ball by Zban.
Ohio pushed its lead to four runs in the fifth on Marshall’s fifth error of the game. Tony Giannini hit a one-out double to center field. He advanced to third on a throwing error by Valenti. The ball rolled into the Herd dugout, allowing Giannini to score.
Marshall began to mount its comeback in the top of the seventh inning. Tyler Ratliff worked a leadoff walk. He was followed by Finfer, who hit his second two-run homer of the game. It was Finfer’s 11th home run of the season.
“I was just trying to maintain a good approach at the plate,” Finfer said. “Coach Gomez always talks about having humble swings. Both home runs came with two strikes, so it was really just came down to not trying to do so much and keeping it simple.”
The Thundering Herd completed the rally in the ninth inning, tying the game at nine. Finfer led off with a single to right field and Hanon followed with a walk. Zban laid down a perfectly placed bunt and reached first safely to load the bases. Billy Sager came up clutch for the Herd with a single up the middle that scored Finfer and Hanon.
Marshall took its first lead since the fourth inning in the top of the 10th. Ratliff hit a deep one-out triple to left center. After Finfer was walked to set up the double play possibility, Hanon hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Ratliff.  
Ohio had an answer for Marshall’s lead once again. Ibarra tied the game at 10 with a solo home run to center field. Two batters later, Rudy Rott hit the game-winning walk-off home run to center field.
Marshall had 15 hits in the contest, tied for the second most in a single game this year. The Thundering Herd had season-high 17 hits at Western Carolina and 15 against Ohio earlier this season. Finfer led Herd with his 11th multi-hit game by going 3-for-5 with two home runs, four RBIs and three runs scored. It was his third multi-home run game of the season. Ratliff, Hanon, Zban, Cory Garrastazu and Valenti each had two hits.
Starting pitcher Brad O’Connor earned the no decision. He pitched 4.1 innings and allowed nine runs, five earned on six hits. He had a team-high five strikeouts.
Marshall welcomes the FIU Panthers to Epling Stadium in Beckley, W.Va. for a C-USA three-game series, beginning Friday, April 21 at 6 p.m. The series continues Saturday at 4 p.m. and concludes on Sunday at Noon.