Solid Pitching, Timely Hitting Lead Herd Past St. Bonaventure 6-3

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

BECKLEY, WV -- The Marshall baseball team used a joint effort of both offense and defense to defeat St. Bonaventure 6-3 Sunday afternoon at Epling Stadium.


The offense, which scored in four of the eight frames, provided a hit nearly every time one was needed while the defense’s only hiccups came on a double to lead the game off and back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning.


Gray Stafford fueled the Thundering Herd bats with a 3-for-5 outing where he hit a home run, stole a base, drove in two runs, and scored two others.


The Herd’s pitching staff: Wayland Moore, Ryan Hopkins, Matt Margaritonda, and Josh King combined for 10 strikeouts on the mound while walking just three.


St. Bonaventure (7-6) opened up the scoring almost immediately as designated hitter Justin Brozick led the game off with a double to left field only two pitches into the game.  Two batters later, Brozick was driven in by Billy Urban on a sacrifice fly, and the Bonnies took the early lead.


Marshall (8-11) responded in the bottom half of the second by combining two hits with a pair of walks to score two.  Thor Meeks had a two-RBI single in that inning to put the Herd on top for good.


In the third, Marshall added to the lead with Stafford’s homer and a Nathan Gomez RBI single.


The Bonnies trimmed the lead from 4-1 to 4-3 on back-to-back solo homers from Urban and Ryan Skellie.  All three home runs in the game were hit to left field.


St. Bonaventure threatened again in the fifth by loading the bases up for Urban, but Hopkins – who came in the game in relief of Moore – needed only one pitch to end the inning on a nice play from Stafford.  Urban’s laser labeled for left field was snagged by the third baseman, and the Bonnies would get no closer to scoring for the remainder of the game.


Hopkins, who threw two and a third innings, allowed one hit and two walks while striking out two.  The sophomore also picked up his first win of the season and improved to 1-1.


Margaritonda came into the game in the eighth and struck out the side after giving up a lead-off base hit.


King closed out the ninth with two punchouts and was awarded the save, his first of the season.


The Herd added insurance in the fifth when Stafford led the inning off with a single, then came around to score on a sac fly from Adrian Farris.  Again in the eighth, Stafford earned an RBI with a fielder’s choice that saw St. Bonaventure concede Andrew Dundon from third. 


Marshall and St. Bonaventure each finished with eight hits.

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