Hammer and Seniors Snatch 5-3 Victory Saturday

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

CHARLESTON – A career-best outing from junior JD Hammer (Fort Collins, Colo.) paced the Herd to a 5-3 victory over Western Kentucky in Charleston at Appalachian Power Park Saturday afternoon. The win marked Marshall’s fourth series win of the last five and its fourth straight win at Power Park.

 

It was Senior Day, and Marshall baseball paid tribute to six of its veterans prior to the game. Three of the four position playing seniors scored to cap off storied careers in Herd uniforms.

 

The Herd again used just four hits to do its damage, and Hammer hurled a career-high eight innings, fanning a personal best 11 while scattering six hits and three walks.

 

Junior Aaron Bossi (St. Louis, Mo.) started Marshall off with a bang, smashing a three-run homer over the left field fence to put the Herd up 3-0 in the first. It was the second baseman’s first home run of the season, and second of his career.

 

Junior DJ Gee (Seattle) and senior TJ Diffenderfer (Mount Juliet, Tenn.) both boarded on a walk, and a double steal pushed them up to third and second base. Enter Bossi, who waited just two pitches before sending the ball soaring over left field.

 

Western Kentucky avoided the shutout, after a close hit was ruled fair down the line for a double in the sixth and brought home a Hilltopper.

 

Marshall added insurance in the seventh, when senior Sergio Leon (Miami) led off with a single, and classmate Josh King (Troup, Ga.) boarded on a hit-by-pitch to put two on. Sophomore Corey Bird (Pinch, W.Va.) then connected on a perfectly placed ball to center field, bringing both Leon and King home to make it 5-1.

 

Western battled back, plating two runs in the ninth to threaten, but senior relief pitcher Kolin Stanley (Beloit, Ohio) sealed the win and avoided more damage. 

 

Marshall will look to maintain its Power win streak for the finale of the series, beginning Sunday at 10 a.m.

 

WAGGONER’S WORDS

Coach Jeff Waggoner

“Just again, another great team win.  Those were big hits from Aaron [Bossi] and Corey [Bird], and what fantastic pitching from JD Hammer. That was a tremendous quality outing from him; just excellent pitching.  We’ve got a lot of momentum right now.”

 

JD Hammer, Jr., Starting Pitcher

“It was a huge win for the team, and it puts us right where we need to be. Defense was a huge factor for us, and we played very clean baseball and executed exactly the way we should have. We were focused and dialed in every pitch, and that’s what we needed.”

 

Aaron Bossi, Jr., Second Baseman

“Winning the last four of five series is a great feeling. It’s not like anything I’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing before at Marshall, and to do it with this group of guys, especially these seniors, it what makes this all the more special. We’re getting hot at the right time of the year, and we are tight knit, which shows on the field. Me being able to contribute today, or any game in the slightest bit, means so much to me  because we have a great program and we’re finally getting to show it.”

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