Marshall Rallies to Even ECU Series|
May 11, 2013
BECKLEY, W.Va. – A two-run eighth helped Marshall’s baseball team erase a late deficit and beat East Carolina 4-3 underneath the lights of Linda K. Epling Stadium on Friday.
Sophomore Eric Escobedo provided the game-tying single with one out in the eighth, and an ECU throwing error allowed Marshall to take the lead two batters later as Marshall improved to 19-30 (6-14 Conference USA). The Pirates were dropped on the road for the first time in seven games and fell to 27-23 (11-9 C-USA).
Escobedo finished 1-for-3 with the team’s only RBI as Marshall scored its runs on two wild pitches, Escobedo’s single, and a throwing error by East Carolina second baseman Bryan Bass. Similarly, the Pirates plated their runs on a wild pitch, an infield single by right fielder Philip Clark, and a fielding error by Sergio Leon.
The first three runs of the contest came by way of errant pitches but Marshall managed to lead 2-1 through the end of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, however, East Carolina rallied with two out and the bases clear to punch two runs across and take its first lead at 3-2.
After a quiet bottom half of the seventh, Marshall seniors Gray Stafford and Isaac Ballou reached to lead off an eighth inning which saw Escobedo line the first pitch he saw down the left field line to tie the game at three.
Marshall starting pitcher Aaron Blair was solid for 6.2 innings, scattering seven hits and five walks, but did not receive any decision. In fact, Escobedo’s single took Blair off the hook for the loss as the Pirate’s (unearned) runs off Blair in the seventh gave them their first lead of the game.
Blair struck out five and brought his career total to 199, sixth all-time among Marshall pitchers.
Relief pitcher Ryan Hopkins (3-2) was the winning pitcher after entering the game trailing 3-2 with two out and runners on second and third in the seventh. Hopkins induced a double-play ball in the eighth before punching out a pair in the ninth to close the door on the Pirates.
East Carolina starter David Lucroy struck out 11 over 5.2 innings but did not receive a decision either. Reliever Brett Mabry (3-3), who put the first two on in the eighth, was saddled the loss.
Marshall and East Carolina will be back at it Sunday at 1 p.m. for game three of the series when the Herd will look to snap ECU’s streak of four-straight series victories.