C-USA Competition Begins Friday for Herd Baseball

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall baseball will receive its first league test this weekend when the Thundering Herd hosts UAB in a three-game series at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va.

The series will commence Friday with first pitch set for 4 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday’s games are tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. and 1 p.m.

Marshall (10-13, 0-0 Conference USA) will use freshman right-hander Chase Boster (1-3, 3.72) in the series opener before turning to reigning C-USA Pitcher of the Week Aaron Blair (3-1, 2.83) for game two and freshman Michael Taylor (3-1, 1.45) for game three. 

UAB (10-14, 0-3 C-USA) is projected to throw senior right-hander Tanner Bryant (2-2, 2-84) in game one.  Saturday and Sunday’s starters are TBD.

In last year’s meeting, Alfredo Brito hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to lift Marshall to a 7-4 victory over the Blazers in game one, but UAB came back to win games two and three, each by scores of 5-1.

The last time the two teams met in Charleston, Marshall lost a 2-1 decision in a 14-inning pitcher’s duel. 

Marshall trails the all-time series 15-10. 

Sophomore second baseman Andrew Dundon will enter the weekend with three-hit performances in his last two games.  Such efforts have seen the Lincoln Park, N.J., native rise to a fourth-place ranking in C-USA statistics.  Dundon has a trio of three-hit games this season to go along with six two-hit games. 

Senior Isaac Ballou has reached base in Marshall’s previous 15 games and boasts an on-base percentage of .507 during that time.  Ballou’s season OBP of .413 ranks eighth in C-USA.  The centerfielder also ranks fourth in runs scored (21) and walks (18). 

UAB boasts C-USA’s second-best hitter John Frost.  The senior bats .368 through 24 games and also has the fourth highest OBP (.423).

Frost provided the game-winning RBI in the Blazer’s midweek win over Alabama on Tuesday.  In that contest, five UAB arms combined for a four-hit shutout of the Crimson Tide.

The victory put an end to the Blazer’s five-game losing streak as UAB was dealt a sweep at home in its C-USA opener last weekend.  Sunday’s finale saw UCF pull off a nail-biter in the 10th.

The weekend series can be followed online through CBS GameTracker and Herd All-Access.  Fans in the area can also listen to radio play-by-play through the Thundering Herd/IMG Sports Network (94.1FM and AM 930).


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