May 13, 2011
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Trailing 6-3 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Marshall University baseball team scored four times to storm back and defeat the Tulane Green Wave 7-6 in the second game of a doubleheader at Appalachian Power Park on Friday afternoon. Marshall dropped game one by a 5-4 score.
Marshall (19-28, 6-14 C-USA) is scheduled to play the series finale with Tulane (29-21, 9-11 C-USA) on Sunday at 10 a.m. Due to inclement weather projected for the Charleston area, both teams will take Saturday off.
Game 1: Tulane 5, Marshall 4
Down 4-3, the Green Wave scored twice in the top of the eighth to squeeze out a 5-4 victory in game one of a doubleheader with the Thundering Herd.
Tulane scored a single run in each of the middle innings, holding a 3-0 edge into the bottom of the seventh. Green Wave ace Conrad Flynn had cruised through the first six stanzas, giving up only a Victor Gomez second inning single.
In the seventh, things unraveled for the visiting right-hander as MU crossed home four times to take a 4-3 cushion. R. Stafford brought home the first run with a sac fly, before Nathan Gomez clubbed a two-run double to bring the score even. Green Wave reliever Alex Facundus (8-2) retired a batter after Flynn was chased from the contest. With two outs, Gray Stafford shot a single to center to bring around N.Gomez with the go-ahead run.
The one-run lead was short lived as Garrett Cannizaro roped a RBI triple to left-center before coming home on a safety squeeze to retake the lead.
Nick Pepitone worked the final two innings, stranding the tying run on third to earn his 13th save of the season.
Herd starter Aaron Blair fired the first 5.2 innings on the bump, scattering three runs on seven hits while fanning three in the no decision.
Game 2: Marshall 7, Tulane 6
Tulane brought the infield with runners on second and third and no outs in the bottom of ninth with cleanup hitter R.Stafford at the dish. The junior produced a game-winning base hit by smoking a one-hopper that bounded over the shortstop Cannizaro’s head into the outfield to bring home Isaac Ballou with the fourth and game-winning run of the inning to capture the back end of the twinbill.
In the top half of the ninth the Green Wave led 4-3 and added two insurance runs on a pinch-hit two-run bomb by Cody Robinson.
The game looked grim for the Herd trailing by three, but saw a glimmer of hope when James Lavinskas started the last of the ninth by being plunked from an Andrew Garner offering. He was immediately lifted for Pepitone (3-1), who had earned the save in game one. MU loaded the bases as G.Stafford drew a walk and Victor Ramos put down a bunt single to third.
The sacks were packed for Ballou, who drew a walk to cut the deficit to two runs, still with nobody out. Next to the dish was the leading hitter in C-USA games, Kenny Socorro, who has produced all season long. The senior lined a two-run base hit through the right side to even the score at six runs apiece. The game was not over yet as R.Stafford would cash in the game-winner to earn a doubleheader split.
Ramos finished the second game 3-for-4 with two runs scored, Socorro knocked in three runs and R.Stafford ripped two hit in five at bats. Both G.Stafford and Ballou crossed home twice in the victory.
Mike Mason produced a gutsy performance for the Herd, firing the first seven innings giving up four runs (all in the fifth inning) on six hits (five coming in the fifth). The southpaw walked four and struck out six as he did not figure in the decision.
Ian Kadish (1-3) recorded the last two outs in the top of the ninth to earn his first victory of the season.