@HerdBaseball Completes Sweep of Middle Tennessee on Saturday
Marshall earns first road Conference USA series sweep since 2006
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Marshall baseball (24-17, 13-8 Conference USA) earned its first C-USA sweep since the 2010 season as it defeated Middle Tennessee (17-28, 4-17 C-USA) in a doubleheader on Saturday. The Thundering Herd won the first game, 25-9, while it came from behind to win game two, 6-5.
The Herd’s 13 wins in Conference USA this season is the most the team has had since joining the league in the 2005-06 season. Marshall’s previous high was 12 wins which was set in 2010 and 2015. Marshall’s 24 wins are tied for sixth most all-time.
GAME ONE: Marshall 25, Middle Tennessee 9 (F/7)
After scoring 11 runs the night before, the Thundering Herd bats continued to stay hot over night as it scored a season-high 25 runs on 27 hits through seven innings in game one of the doubleheader.
The Herd tacked on 14 runs on nine hits through the first three innings of the ballgame. The three innings were highlighted by a Corey Bird (Elkview, W.Va.) triple, a two-run homer by Tyler Ratliff (Alexandria, Va.) and two doubles by Aaron Bossi (St. Louis). Marshall scored seven runs in the third inning with two outs.
After two scoreless innings, Marshal strung together six consecutive hits that included five singles and a double by Renaldo Pastrana (Miami) that scored two. The Herd went on to score five runs in the sixth.
In the seventh, the Herd was powered by two home runs. Tommy Lane (Pendleton, Ore.) led the inning off with a solo home run to right field, good for his 11th of the season. After Ratliff came around to score, Cory Garrastazu (Miami) hit a three-run home run to right field that scored Pastrana and Billy Sager (Kenova, W.Va.). Marshall was able to add one more run in the inning after a Lane double.
Marshall was powered by Lane, Ratliff and Pastrana with five RBIs each. Lane was 4-for-6 with five runs scored and two extra base hits. Ratliff was 5-for-6 with four runs scored, while Pastrana was 4-for-6.
Freshman left-hander Joshua Shapiro (Columbus, Ohio) earned his second win of the season and improves to 2-3 overall. JD Hammer (Fort Collins, Colo.) made his first appearance for the Herd after an injury suffered at UTSA on April 10. Hammer went one inning and had a strikeout. Caleb Ross (Barboursville, W.Va.) pitched the final inning and allowed just two hits.
Marshall’s 25 runs against the Blue Raiders is a new school record for the most runs in any league game. It was previously a 24-16 Mid-American Conference win over Toledo in 1963. The run total is tied for No. 4 for most runs scored in a game in Thundering Herd history.
In Conference USA’s 21-year history there have only been nine league games to score more than 25 runs.
Middle Tennessee scored nine runs off 15 hits. Starting pitcher Jake Wyrick (3-5) was credited with the loss.
GAME TWO: Marshall 6, Middle Tennessee 4
A three-run eighth inning lifted the Thundering Herd over the Blue Raiders by coming from behind in the second game of the doubleheader.
The hot-hitting Ratliff led things off for the Herd in the eighth with a single up the middle. After Sam Finfer (Bellevue, Wash.) and Leo Valenti (Olympia, Wash.) were hit by pitches to load the bases, Bird hit into a fielder’s choice to tie the game at four. Following a wild pitch that allowed Finfer to score and give Marshall a one run lead, Gee doubled to left field to score Bird for what would turn out to be the game-winning run.
Middle Tennessee was able to get a run back in the eighth to put the score at 6-5, but relief pitcher Burris Warner (Auburndale, Fla.) shut down the Blue Raiders in the ninth to clinch the one-run win. Warner (2-1) went three innings with five strikeouts and allowed just one run on three hits.
Starting pitcher Parker Danciu (Palm Beach, Fla.) picked up the no decision after going 5.2 innings with four strikeouts and four earned runs. Heston Van Fleet (Kingsville, Texas) registered one out on two pitches.
Marshall had a game-high 11 hits. Gee was 4-for-5 in game two with two RBIs. Bird, Lane and Finfer each registered a RBI.
Relief pitcher Cody Puckett for Middle Tennessee suffered the loss and moves to 3-2.
Quotes from Head Coach Jeff Waggoner
On the day…
“I’m just proud of the guys and the way they competed all day. We battled a rain delay in the second game and Parker Danciu did a great job handling that. He had to sit down for 45 minutes and he was able to come back and find his groove. He gave us a chance to win the second game.”
On the team this season…
“These guys have been playing good as a group. They compete, they listen and they are fun to coach. They come to every game ready to go. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys.”
Marshall returns to Appalachian Power Park for a three-game series against the UAB Blazers, beginning on May 6 at 6 p.m. The Herd is set for games Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m.