Feb. 23, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall University baseball team concluded a successful trip to Charleston, S.C., competing in the CofC Invitational, posting a 2-1 record for the weekend. The Thundering Herd defeated Miami (Ohio) 4-3 in 11 innings on Friday, followed by a 6-4 victory against Kentucky on Saturday, before falling to tournament host College of Charleston on Sunday, 8-6.
TOP HITTER: Thor Meeks, C/DH
Friday – Marshall 4, Miami (Ohio) 3 (11 innings)
Highlights: Victor Gomez clubbed a two-out RBI double in the top of the 11th which proved to be the game winner and Kenny Socorro laced three base hits to earn the season opening victory.
Saturday – Marshall 6, Kentucky 4
Highlights: LHP Mike Mason struck out seven over 5.0 innings and Victor Ramos ripped a two-run double to cap off a four-run eighth inning to propel the Herd to the first win against the Wildcats since 2004.
Sunday – College of Charleston 8, Marshall 6
Highlights: Thor Meeks went 2-for-3 at the plate and Socorro launched the first homer of the season for the Herd, but MU dropped to 0-4 all-time against the Cougars.
Meeks produced a solid weekend in the middle of the Marshall lineup, finishing with a.444 batting average (4-for-9), with a double, team-best four RBI, while walking three times at the plate.
TOP PITCHER: Mike Mason, LHP
Mason looked superb in his first start as a junior against Kentucky, working the first five innings, allowing one earned run on four hits with seven strikeouts. He did not figure in the decision, but did string together a streak of four-straight K’s, including punching out the side in the second.
A total of nine players made their Marshall debuts at the CofC Invitational. Three of the players were position players (Louie Helmburg, Victor Ramos and Gray Stafford) and the other six were pitchers (Jesse Fernandez, Joe Hollowell, Josh King, Erin McGee, Terrence Moore and Austin Pratt).
The 11 inning victory against Miami (Ohio) marked the first time that Marshall played an extra inning game beyond nine innings since the 2009 season. It just so happened the opponent of the last extra inning game for the Herd also came against Miami, when the Redhawks defeated MU 8-7 in 10 innings on May 12, 2009. Note: Marshall played Wright State to extra innings in 2010, but the game was a scheduled seven-inning affair, that ended in the bottom of the ninth on a Nathan Gomez walk-off single.
GOMEZ AMONGST TOP IN NATION
1B Victor Gomez ranks in the top-10 amongst active players in Division I college baseball in four separate categories. He is the only player in the nation to be listed in the top-10 in hits, homers, RBI and total bases.
Total Bases (2nd) – 418
Homers (T-2nd) – 46
RBI (3rd) – 173
Hits (10th) – 232
After starting the first three games of the season, SS Kenny Socorro has started 104 consecutive games, dating back to March 11, 2009.
OF Isaac Ballou is riding a six-game hitting streak entering this weekend’s trip to Lipscomb. The Smithville, Va., native recorded a base hit-or-better in the final three games of the 2010 season and has hit safely in each of the first three contests in 2011 out of the leadoff spot.
In fact, five players on the Herd roster have reached base via a hit in all three games in 2011: Thor Meeks, Isaac Ballou, Kenny Socorro, Rhett Stafford and Ben Jurevicius.
OF Ben Jurevicius became the third active player on the 2011 roster to reach the 100-hit mark when he singled in the fifth inning in the 6-4 victory against Kentucky. He joins senior classmates Victor Gomez and Kenny Socorro to reach the milestone.
99 STRIKEOUTS AND NEEDS JUST ONE
LHP Mike Mason is just one strikeout away from reaching 100 for his career. Mason posted seven strikeouts in a no decision against UK, which the Herd would eventually go on to win.
THE CUBAN MISSILE
SS Kenny Socorro, known as the “Cuban Missile” by his teammates, hit a solo homer in the top of the ninth against College of Charleston marking the first Marshall deep fly of the season. Socorro did not hit a missile out of the park during the 2010 season until the 57th game, when he went deep against Houston at the Conference USA Championships. The homer marked the fifth of his career and his first solo homer.
In his 32nd career appearance, 31 out of the bullpen, righty James White earned his first save with the Herd. The junior pitched a scoreless bottom of the 11th to close the door against Miami (Ohio).