May 13, 2012
Box Score (PDF) | 2012 Season Statistics
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- No. 13 UCF hit a grand slam in the third and added five more runs in the fourth on the way to a 13-6 triumph of the Marshall baseball team Sunday at Appalachian Power Park.
The loss set the Thundering Herd back to 16-34 overall and 4-17 in Conference USA while the Knights won the series and improved to 40-12 (16-5 C-USA).
Marshall will play Tulane in the final series of the regular season next weekend and must receive help from Memphis in order to qualify for the C-USA postseason tournament. Memphis will play Houston in their final weekend series. Any combination of Houston wins or Herd losses adding up to two will eliminate Marshall from playoff contention.
Runs batted in by Thor Meeks, Eric Semeniuk and Isaac Ballou saw the Herd jump out to a 3-0 lead at the end of two innings. Meeks’ sacrifice fly followed by back-to-back singles from Semeniuk and Ballou gave Marshall early life, but UCF’s Chris Taladay responded with a grand slam to right field in the very next frame. With the grand slam, UCF took the lead 4-3 and never looked back.
The Knights added five runs in the fourth and two runs in the seven and eighth to cruise to their 40th win of the season.
Marshall rallied in the bottom of the fourth with three runs on three hits to cut the score to 9-6 but did not get any closer. Ballou and Nathan Gomez earned RBIs in the fourth after being beaned by Bryan Brown with the bases loaded.
Brown (3-0) would go on to receive the win in a relief role of UCF starter Ray Hanson.
Hanson took no decision despite being bombarded with three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings.
Mike Mason (4-6) was the losing pitcher, having given up nine runs – five earned – on eight hits in his shortest start of the season (3.2 IP). The senior struck out three.
Eric Semeniuk and Thor Meeks, the Herd’s two non-pitching seniors, went a combined 3-for-6 with three runs and two RBIs in their final game at Appalachian Power Park.
Jesse Fernandez, another senior, threw two innings of relief and gave up a hit and a walk while conceding two runs (both unearned).
Junior Gray Stafford was 2-for-5 and scored twice. Sergio Leon began the game 2-for-2, adding to his 4-for-4 effort from Saturday, but the freshman cooled down in the later innings (2-for-5).