April 11, 2013
CBS GameTracker: Game One | Game Two | Game Three
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The fourth and fifth placed teams in Conference USA will meet Friday through Sunday when Marshall (13-19, 3-3 C-USA) collides with Southern Miss (15-17, 5-4 C-USA) at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field in Hattiesburg, Miss.
All three games of the series can be followed through CBS GameTracker and the Herd All-Access video stream.
Game times/probable starters:
Friday, 7 p.m. ET
LHP Wayland Moore (2-1, 5.14) vs. LHP Jake Drehoff (1-4, 4.30)
Saturday, 3 p.m. ET
RHP Aaron Blair (5-1, 2.11) vs. RHP Andrew Pierce (6-1, 1.95)
Sunday, 10:30 a.m. ET
RHP Michael Taylor (3-3, 3.25) vs. RHP Conor Fisk (3-1, 1.50)
In last year's series in Charleston, the Golden Eagles took two out of three from the Thundering Herd, including a 2-0 victory in the opener and a 5-3 triumph in the finale.
In game one of the series, Aaron Blair took a no-hitter into the eighth, but a failure to manufacture runs doomed the Herd to a tough defeat. Marshall's offense in the series was highlighted by Nathan Gomez who was 6-for-11 (.545) from the dish.
Blair is coming off one of the most successful weeks of work ever produced by a Marshall pitcher. The junior, who went eight scoreless innings against No. 19 Houston last Saturday, was honored as the NCBWA Pitcher of the Week, the Louisville Slugger Pitcher of the Week, and the C-USA Pitcher of the Week.
Blair will face another one of the league's top pitchers in Andrew Pierce this Saturday. Pierce, a right-hander, ranks sixth in C-USA in ERA (1.95), fourth in strikeouts (58), eighth in opposing batting average (.211), and first in wins (six).
Blair is ninth in ERA (2.11), ninth in strikeouts (47), first in opposing batting average (.161), and third in wins (five).
In C-USA action, Blair is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 15 strikeouts over 14.0 innings.
Isaac Ballou enters the series having reached base in each of the last 24 games of the season. The last time a Marshall player had such a streak as high as 25, it was Ballou who strung together 27 consecutive games reaching base in his sophomore season.
Andrew Dundon, despite an 0-for-4 outing in the team's most recent outing, leads Marshall in hitting at .339. Ballou's average has climbed to second on the team at .315.
For Southern Miss, Chase Fowler (.340) and Mason Robbins (.331) lead the Golden Eagles offensive attack. The pair ranks among the league leaders in batting average and slugging percentage.
So far this season, USM has posted series victories over C-USA foes UCF and Tulane after falling short, 2-1, to Rice. The Golden Eagles enter the weekend having won four straight, dating back to game two of the Tulane series last weekend.