Marshall Edged by Eastern Michigan 6-5

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Marshall baseball team hit a home run in each of the first three innings Friday afternoon, but it was not enough as the Eastern Michigan Eagles came from behind to defeat the Thundering Herd 6-5 at Wake Forest Baseball Park. 

The Herd dropped to 3-5 with the loss, while the Eagles improved to 3-5.

Nathan Gomez hit a solo home run in the first, and Alfredo Brito hit back-to-back shots in the second and third to help put Marshall on top 5-0 early in the ballgame, but Eastern Michigan rallied with one run in the third, two in the fourth, and three in the sixth to secure its first come-from-behind victory of the season. 

Marshall starter Aaron Blair (0-2) pitched five complete innings and struck out three in his third outing of the season, a no-decision.  The sophomore gave up three runs on four hits and managed to get away with six walks and a hit batter. 

Freshman Lance Elder (0-1) was dealt the loss after giving up three runs in the sixth.  Eastern Michigan used a lead-off home run from shortstop Tucker Rubino to trim the Herd lead to 5-4.  An out later, Daniel Russell reached on a walk and Adam Dennison singled to put runners on first and second for the top of the Eagles order.  Bo Kinder’s ensuing double to right-center scored one and set the table for Brent Ohrman’s sacrifice fly which gave Eastern Michigan its first lead of the game.

The Marshall bullpen – which included Elder, Matt Margaritonda, Kolin Stanley, and Terrence Moore – found itself in jams in each of the next three innings but managed to escape each completely unscathed.  Eastern Michigan had a runner on second in the seventh and runners on second and third in the eighth but found no way to add to its lead. 

The Herd put runners on base in each of its last three innings but could not come up with a clutch hit.  In the top of the ninth, Tripp Faulk reached base in the lead-off spot, but Collin Stanley would strike out the side to pick up his first save of the season for the Eagles. 

Eastern Michigan starter Joe Battistelli (1-2) took the win.  The junior threw for six innings and gave up five runs (three earned) on nine hits. 

The Eagles offense put its lead-off hitter on base in five of the eight frames. 

Thor Meeks went 4-for-4 in the contest, setting a new personal mark for hits in a game.  Brito (2-for-3) and Sergio Leon (2-for-4) provided multiple hits for the Herd. 

Marshall will return to the diamond Saturday for games against Eastern Michigan (12 p.m.) and Wake Forest (4 p.m.).  Live chat, Gametracker, and Twitter updates will all be available once again.  Check for any changes which may be made due to weather.

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