Herd Baseball Tops Hilltoppers 3-2 Friday

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A thrilling diving play to end the seventh inning capped a terrific defensive day for Marshall baseball (17-30, 9-16 C-USA), as the Herd defeated league newcomer Western Kentucky (23-25, 9-16 C-USA) 3-2 in the series opener Friday at Appalachian Power Park.


The win marks the Herd’s fourth Friday victory in the last five weeks and its third straight victory at Power Park.


The Herd used just four hits in the victory, with sophomore Corey Bird (Pinch, W.Va.) leading the offense going 2-for-4. Starting pitcher Chase Boster (Stafford, Va.) picked up his team-leading sixth win, tossing 7.1 innings while scattering seven hits and striking out five.


The real game changer, however, was junior Robert Fajardo (Miami), whose diving catch to end the seventh not only saved two potential Hilltopper runs, but set the tone for the rest of the contest.


WKU took an early 1-0 lead, scoring a run in the first off of a passed ball. Marshall quickly responded, plating two runs in the bottom of the inning to take control.


Bird led off the game with a double, and after senior TJ Diffenderfer (Mount Juliet, Tenn.) walked to put runners on, senior Andrew Dundon (Lincoln Park, N.J.) ripped a single to right field, bringing both Bird and Diffenderfer home.

The Hilltoppers tied the game in the top of the fourth, when right fielder Philip Diedrick sent a ball soaring over the right field wall.


Again, the Herd wasted no time responding, when senior Sergio Leon (Miami) ripped a two-out triple in the right field gap, and then scored off a wild pitch to plate the ultimately winning run.


Reliever Kolin Stanley (Beloit, Ohio) earned his second save of the season, facing just three batters and striking out two of them in the ninth.


Marshall and Western face off again Saturday at 1 p.m. at Power Park.



Link to Coach Waggoner’s post-game interview


Chase Boster, Jr., Starting Pitcher

“It seems like every game I have the same things to say, but it’s true. Without my defense, that game would have been entirely different. That catch that Robert [Fajardo] made without a doubt changed the momentum of the game, and that was an unbelievable play. Knowing that I have that kind of support behind me, I just go out and try to throw strikes, because I know the guys behind me can help me if I get in a jam.”


Robert Fajardo, Jr., Right Fielder

“It was late in the game and it was in a tight situation, and Chase [Boster] had pitched a great game. I just needed to make that play for him. It was a good team win, and we just need to keep playing together like we did today.”

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