Feb. 18, 2010
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University baseball team hits the road for a four-game series at Samford in Birmingham, Ala., to begin the 2010 season. The first game is slated for the Thundering Herd on Friday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. EST at Joe Lee Griffin Stadium. Game time was pushed up from the original time of 7 p.m. due to low temperatures forecasted for the area.
Following opening day for both clubs, the Herd and the Bulldogs will play a twin bill on Saturday. First pitch will be thrown at 2 p.m. EST, followed by the second game at 5 p.m. EST. The series finale is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. EST.
MU - Ian Kadish, RHP (0-1, 6.17 ERA) | SU - Jonathan Stephens, RHP (7-0, 2.88 ERA*)
MU - Mike Mason, LHP (1-1, 6.43 ERA) | SU - Kyle Putkonen, RHP (4-3, 8.44 ERA)
MU - Shane Farrell, RHP (1-7, 3.88 ERA) | SU - Arthur Strauss, RHP (N/A)
MU - Ryan Kiel, LHP (4-3, 6.15 ERA) | SU - TBA
Marshall is coming off a 22-32 overall record in 2009 with 19 letterwinners returning. Four of the top six hitters are back for the green and white with C/INF Victor Gomez leading the charge. The junior was selected to the preseason first team All-Conference USA squad after an impressive 2009 campaign. Last season, Gomez launched a team-best 18 homers and 62 RBI.
Senior INF Josh Valle led the club last year in batting average (.337) and hit even stronger against C-USA competition (.420). Redshirt sophomore Rhett Stafford registered a .293 batting clip with six homers, while junior Kenny Socorro returns as the incumbent at shortstop for the Herd. Socorro recorded a .280 average in 2009 and led the team in assists (140) and helped convert 38 double plays.
Right-handed pitcher Ian Kadish will take the ball from head coach Jeff Waggoner in the first game of the series. The junior was used strictly as a reliever a year ago, making all 19 appearances out of the bullpen, had a standout fall for the Herd. Kadish earned MVP honors in the fall Green/White Series by posting a 2-0 record allowing only two earned runs in 11.0 innings with 14 strikeouts.
The host Bulldogs finished with an overall record of 17-35 and bring back all starting position players from last season's team. Samford, who competes in the Southern Conference, will look to David Schulze as an offensive force. Schulze, a senior OF, batted .335 with 10 homers and 57 RBI in 2009. Wayne Miller returns to roam CF for the Bulldogs after hitting .339 along with swiping 24-of-26 steal attempts.
Jonathan Stephens is slated to toe the rubber in the season opener. A redshirt senior, Stephens sat out the 2009 season due to an injury. In 2008, he went a perfect 7-0 on the hill with a 2.88 ERA.
GameTracker will be available for the entire series by logging onto www.HerdZone.com