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Marshall Evens Series with 2-1 Victory over USM

A.J. Farris scored the game-winning run in the fourth inning Saturday

April 28, 2012

Final Stats

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two runs proved to be all that the Marshall baseball team needed as it edged Southern Miss 2-1 to even the three-game series Saturday at Appalachian Power Park. 

Marshall improved to 15-27 (3-11 C-USA) while Southern Miss fell to 24-18 (8-6 C-USA). 

Freshmen Eric Escobedo and Andrew Dundon provided the RBI hits in the first and fourth innings, respectively, and gave starting pitcher Mike Mason just enough cushion for the win.  Both Thundering Herd runs were scored when Marshall rallied with two out and the bases clear. 

In the first, Nathan Gomez doubled down the left field line with two out and was singled home by Escobedo for an early lead.  Adrian Farris scored the eventual game-winning run on a play at the plate three innings later as Dundon sent a double into the left field gap.  Farris walked on the previous pitch. 

Mason, who carried a no-hitter into the fourth, surrendered a home run to Travis Creel with one out in the seventh in what was his only blemish of the game.  The senior gave up just the one run on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts over 6.1 innings.  He has now pitched the fifth-most number of innings all-time among Herd pitchers (247.1). 

Mason improved to 4-5 and took his first decision in three starts.  The southpaw’s no-hitter was broken up with one out in the fourth when Southern Miss shortstop Ashley Graeter won a nine-pitch at-bat with a single to center field. 

Sophomore Josh King relieved Mason after the solo homer from Creel in the seventh.  King encountered immediate danger as the Golden Eagles tagged him with back-to-back hits and put runners on second and third with two out, but the danger was averted on a ground ball to Dundon. 

King stayed in the game through the eighth and gave up a one-out double but again avoided harm with a strikeout and a fly-out.  The Troup, Ga. native threw 1.2 innings and struck out one while allowing three hits. 

Jesse Fernandez pitched the ninth and picked up his fourth save of the season despite a two-out, pinch hit single from Austin Roussel.  The right-hander also struck out one. 

Dundon finished the game 2-for-3 with the game-winning hit.  Escobedo went 1-for-4 with an RBI after earning a spot as the team’s clean-up hitter for the first time in his career.  Gomez was 1-for-3 with a run scored. 

Golden Eagles Graeter and Mason Robbins each recorded two hits in four at-bats in the losing effort.  USM starter Jake Drehoff went 6.1 innings and gave up two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four.  Marshall dealt Drehoff (6-2) his second loss in 11 starts this season. 

Pending weather, game three of the series will begin Sunday at 10 a.m.