Herd Prepares for Home Opener Against Niagara
After a 7-3 road start, Marshall looks for strong open at home
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.--The Thundering Herd baseball team will finally play its home opener Friday when Niagara University comes to town for a four-game series at Kennedy Center Field. After 10 straight away games to begin the season, Marshall will be in front of some friendly faces to try and improve on its strong 7-3 start. Game one will take place Friday at 2 p.m. Games two and three will be a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Game four will be Sunday at 12 p.m.
ON THE MOUND
Friday vs. Niagara RHP Wade Martin (0-1, 4.91 ERA) vs. LHP Cody Eckerson (0-1, 5.62 ERA)
Saturday vs. Niagara RHP Will Ray (0-0, 1.08 ERA) vs. RHP Jackson Jones (1-0, 3.18 ERA)
Saturday vs. Niagara RHP Brad O'Connor (1-2, 5.93 ERA) vs. TBA
Sunday vs. Niagara TBA vs. TBA
HAVE YOU HERD?
--After going 4-5 against WCU on Wednesday, first baseman Shane Hanon now leads all starters with a .413 batting average. Hanon has 19 hits, 10 runs, and seven RBIs in 46 at-bats.
--Catcher Reynaldo Pastrana has proven clutch with runners in scoring position. Pastrana's 14 RBIs gives him six more than anyone else on the team.
--Pitcher/DH Will Ray has had a strong start to the season at both positions. Ray leads the team with a .786 slugging percentage while batting, and has the lowest ERA among starting pitchers with a 1.08 in 16 2/3 innings. Ray has allowed just 12 hits against 60 batters.
--Starting pitcher Brad O'Connor earned his first win of the season last week against Appalachian State. O'Connor currently boasts a team-high 17 strikeouts.
--Infielder Greg Cullen has been dominant at the plate this year. The junior has a team-high .577 batting average and a slugging percentage of .962. In 26 at bats Cullen has racked up 15 hits, seven RBIs, and two home runs.
--A base-running threat has yet to emerge this season for Niagara, with just two stolen bases through six games so far. Outfielders Julian Gallup and Darian Blanks have one each.
--Starting pitcher Cody Eckerson leads Niagara's bullpen with 14 strikeouts. The game one starter has allowed 10 hits in eight innings pitched, while walking four batters.
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A three-game home series at Appalachian Power Park (Charleston, W.Va.) against the Blazers of UAB awaits the Herd next weekend.