Herd 3, Pirates 6; Marshall Swept by ECU
Three late runs lift ECU over Marshall in game three
May 6, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. -- A two-run seventh from the Marshall baseball team evened the score Sunday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium, but three runs from East Carolina in the bottom of the inning helped the Pirates defeat the Thundering Herd 6-3 and complete a series sweep.
Marshall (15-31, 3-15 C-USA) dropped its fourth straight decision and 13th game decided by three or less runs. East Carolina improved to 31-16-1 (13-7-1 C-USA).
Thor Meeks and John Gandolfo were the Herd's heroes in the seventh inning as Marshall erased a two-run deficit for the second day in a row. Entering the top of the seventh with the score 3-1, Andrew Dundon put himself in scoring position when he led off the inning with a single up the middle, stole second, then advanced to third on an error by ECU reliever Jeff Hoffman. The error also helped Gray Stafford reach base and put two on with nobody out for Meeks.
Meeks proceeded with a sacrifice fly to shallow left field that narrowly scored Dundon. ECU left-fielder John Wooten's relay to catcher Zach Wright was only a split second late as the tag missed the head-first slide of Dundon.
Stafford was able to take third on the throw home, but it didn't matter as Gandolfo laced a game-tying double to the opposite field two pitches later.
Despite finding new life, Marshall allowed three runs on three hits in the bottom of the inning as East Carolina spoiled the Herd's hope of completing a come-from-behind victory.
Sophomore Ryan Hopkins (1-3) took the loss when he gave up a base-clearing double to Wright which scored all three runs.
Hoffman (2-1) came away victorious even after losing the lead in the top half of the seventh.
Senior Mike Mason received no decision in his 12th start of the season. Although he gave up nine hits in 5.2 innings, Mason worked damage control to limit the ECU offense to three earned runs. Mason struck out one and walked two.
Freshman Matt Margaritonda threw 1.2 innings of relief to close the game out, dealing two strikeouts while limiting the Pirates to one hit and one walk.
Stafford notched his third triple of his career - and second of this season - with two out in the fifth inning. The triple was the Herd's first hit of the contest and helped Marshall put a run on the board as a pair of walks loaded the bases and set the table for Isaac Ballou's hit batsman that produced Marshall's first run.
For the game, MU managed three runs despite being held to just three hits. ECU scored six runs on 14 hits.