May 8, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- With a Conference USA Tournament berth on the line, Marshall baseball will host its final 2014 series at Appalachian Power Park. The Herd will take on new Coneference USA member Old Dominion, which sits right above Marshall in the conference standings.
The series opens Friday with a 1 p.m. start, followed by games Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Herd last faced off against the Monarchs to open the 2013 season in Norfolk, Va., taking a 3-0 victory to begin the year and splitting the series 1-1.
The weekend will honor seniors Ryan Hopkins (Sardinia, Ohio) and John Beary (Apopka, Fla.), who will wear the Herd uniform at home for the last time in their careers.
HAVE YOU HERD?
Marshall is coming off its fourth conference series win of the season after taking 2-of-3 from Louisiana Tech.
In Game 1, junior Eric Escobedo (Troup, Ga.) provided his second walk-off hit of the year for the Herd, a single down the left field line to deliver a 4-3 Marshall victory in 10 innings.
Junior TJ Diffenderfer (Mount Juliet, Tenn.) cracked his third home run of the season to put Marshall on the board in Friday’s contest.
In Saturday’s game, the Herd again rallied from behind, scoring seven runs in the seventh inning to take the 7-3 win.
Marshall rallied yet again Sunday but fell short, 8-7. Diffenderfer hit his third triple of the season during the rally.
Escobedo enters the series on an 11-game hitting streak, and freshman Corey Bird (Elkview, W.Va.) carries a team high 14 game on-base streak into the weekend.
Sophomore Caleb Ross
(Barboursville, W.Va.) is now tied for fourth place in Herd single-season pitching appearances with 31.
SCOUTING THE MONARCHS
ODU will bring a 28-20 (14-13 C-USA) record to Appalachian Power Park after dropping 2-of-3 to Florida Atlantic last weekend.
The Monarchs are led offensively by junior Taylor Ostrich (.322), sophomore PJ Higgins (.321), and freshman Nick Walker (.315). Higgins and Walker each have a team-high 35 runs on the season, while Higgins leads the team in doubles with 14.
Senior Josiah Burney also owns a .313 average, team-high six homeruns, and 36 RBI.
Junior Ben Slaton leads the team with 37 RBI. Slaton posts a .288 average with 13 doubles, a triple, and three homers.
The Monarchs have a team ERA of 3.56. Closer Brad Gero is second in C-USA with nine saves, and second behind Ross with 28 appearances.
RHP Brett Harris vs. RHP Matt Margaritonda (Freehold, N.J.)
(1-1, 3.51 ERA) (2-5, 3.68 ERA)
LHP Andy Roberts vs. RHP Michael Taylor (St. Albans, W.Va.)
(3-3, 3.41 ERA) (3-6, 2.78 ERA)
RHP Victor Diaz vs. RHP Chase Boster (Stafford, Va.)
(3-2, 2.87 ERA) (2-1, 3.09 ERA)