ECU Deals Marshall 8-7 Loss with Extra-Inning Walk-Off
ECU's Philip Clark provided a bunt single to score the winning run
May 5, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Eric Escobedo drove in three runs in the eighth to give the Marshall baseball team a late lead, but East Carolina responded by tying the game in the ninth and winning it 8-7 on a walk-off in the tenth Saturday at ECU's Clark-LeClair Stadium.
East Carolina won the game in the tenth when a lead-off hit batter moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, went to third on a groundout, then scampered home on Philip Clark's bunt down the third base line. MU third baseman Gray Stafford fielded the bunt along the third base foul line with his bare hand, but his off-balance throw reached the out-stretched glove of first baseman Nathan Gomez a split second late.
With the victory, ECU won the series and improved to 30-16-1 (12-7-1 C-USA). The Thundering Herd fell to 15-30 (3-14 C-USA).
Marshall put together a nice rally in the eighth to cap off a comeback where the Herd erased a three-run deficit. With the score 5-4, Escobedo grounded a base-clearing double over the third base bag and into left field, scoring Stafford, Isaac Ballou, and Nathan Gomez to give Marshall a 7-5 lead. The extra base hit came with two out in the inning and on a 1-2 pitch.
Three innings prior, Escobedo singled home a run in a 5-2 ballgame to help trim the lead to 5-4.
MU reliever Josh King threw two hitless innings during Marshall's comeback to help keep the game within reach. The sophomore issued one walk and allowed another runner aboard via an error but escaped both innings without any damage.
King pitched in relief of Blair, who was moved to the Saturday slot for the first time this season. Blair allowed five runs - two earned - on eight hits and a walk while striking out five over 6.0 innings. Neither pitcher received any decision.
Marshall took the lead in the third inning thanks to an RBI from Gomez and a throwing error from the Pirate defense. That lead would vanish two innings later, though, as East Carolina posted five runs in the fourth.
Escobedo recorded a three-hit game for the third time in his young career, going 3-for-5 with a career high four RBIs.
As a team, the Herd out-hit ECU 14-9 and forced starting left-hander Tyler Joyner into an early exit when it tagged him with nine hits and four runs in four innings.
Game three of the series will begin Sunday at 1 p.m.