Herd Pounds Dragons for 12-3 Victory
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University scored in all but two innings on Sunday on 12 hits to down the visiting Drexel Dragons 12-3 in baseball action at University Heights.
The Thundering Herd (7-11-1) received a much-needed lift from catcher Gregg Hiller (Greenville, Ohio), who belted a three-run homer to right center field in the fourth inning. Hiller’s first home run of 2003 gave Marshall a 5-2 lead and helped the sophomore punch out of a hitting slump that has plagued him early in the season.
Hiller was 2-for-3 with four RBIs and one run scored.
“A lot of guy’s bats are starting to come alive, including Hiller’s,” Marshall head coach Dave Piepenbrink said. “Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come.”
Grant Harper (Grayson, Ky.) earned the victory on the mound for the Herd. The junior pitched five innings and allowed eight hits and three runs while striking out three Dragons to improve his record to 2-3.
Drexel (3-11) plated its first run in the second inning when Harry Ley drove a Harper pitch into left center field to score Luke Sundheim.
The Herd managed to tie the contest at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning, despite two base runners being thrown out while attempting to steal. Corie O’Bryan (Frederick, Md.) registered Marshall’s first hit of the afternoon to lead things off, but the junior was later thrown out trying to steal third base. Hiller slapped a base hit through the left side to score Scott Henning (Wilmington, Del.) prior to being thrown out at second base.
MU took a brief 2-1 lead following a Mike Koitsopoulos (Markham, Ont.) double that scored Josh McConnell (Phenix City, Ala.) in the third inning. Drexel fought back with one run in the bottom of the inning when Ley knocked a ball off of the top of University Heights’ fence for a double that scored Sundheim.
Shane Carroll (0-3) took the loss for Drexel. The senior pitched five innings and struck out four Marshall hitters, but allowed seven earned runs.
Francois Larmore (Magnolia, N.J.) hit his seventh home run of the season in the fifth inning, a solo shot. Matt LaFleur (Chesapeake, Va.) added a RBI single in the frame to give MU a 7-3 lead.
Larmore also provided fireworks with his defense in right field, snatching a Jason Bailey fly ball with his back turned to home plate while on the run. The sure extra base hit would have scored the Drexel runner on second base.
Marshall and Drexel will play game two of the three-game series Monday at 3 p.m. at University Heights.