April 27, 2013
Box Score - Game One (PDF) | Box Score - Game Two (PDF)
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Marshall’s baseball team controlled late leads in each game of Saturday’s Conference USA doubleheader against Tulane but fell twice to the Green Wave by scores of 3-2 (11 innings) and 7-3.
Tulane captured the victory in game one in extra innings after battling back from a ninth-inning deficit. In game two, the Green Wave erased Marshall’s 2-1 seventh-inning advantage with a three-run seventh.
It was the final series of the 2013 season at Appalachian Power Park and saw Marshall drop its record to 16-26 (5-10 C-USA). Tulane won its second league series of the year and improved to 22-22 (7-8 C-USA).
In game one, Marshall starting pitcher Aaron Blair was nearly untouchable for eight innings until the Greenies shook him for two runs in the ninth which wiped away a 2-0 Thundering Herd lead and forced extra innings for the second game in a row.
Blair ended up with a no-decision, lasting 8.1 innings (his new career-long) with seven hits, two (earned) runs, and 10 K’s to go along with two walks. Blair worked the first eight frames with only a single run of support until the Herd bats punched across a second run in the bottom of the eighth to make it 2-0. In the top of the ninth, a leadoff double was followed by a walk and back-to-back base hits, each driving in a run.
Junior Josh King (1-2) relieved Blair with one out in the ninth and took Marshall out of the mess with two punchouts. However, the right-hander ended up suffering the loss two innings later when Tulane played small ball to plate the go-ahead run.
In the 11th, Tulane first baseman Sean Potkay singled to lead off, was bunted to second, went to third on a groundout, then scored on an RBI-single from left-fielder Richard Carthon.
In game two, Tulane struck first with a run in the top of the second but sophomore Eric Escobedo smacked a two-run homer, his first career long ball, to put Marshall on top in the third.
After three scoreless innings of play from both sides, things began to unravel for the Herd in the seventh. A trio of costly errors on defense aided Tulane’s three-run surge in the top of the seventh which put the Greenies back into the lead for good.
Marshall scratched a run back in the bottom half but Tulane added two more in the eighth and one in the ninth to put the game away.
Senior Nathan Gomez was 3-for-7 in the doubleheader, including 2-for-4 in the nightcap.
Fellow senior Isaac Ballou was 3-for-8 in the two games and broke Marshall’s career walks record with a base on balls in the sixth inning of game one. The Smithfield, Va., native added another in the seventh and now has 122 career walks.
Ballou also tripled for the 16th time in his career to lead off game one. The three-bagger added distance to his already standing Marshall record and took him one step closer to the C-USA record of 17.
A busy midweek will have Marshall playing Morehead State Tuesday at 3 p.m. in Beckley, W.Va., before heading to Chillicothe, Ohio, for a Wednesday game against Eastern Kentucky, also at 3 p.m. The Herd will be on the road over the weekend as it travels to Memphis, Tenn., for three games against the Memphis Tigers.