March 5, 2011
CONWAY, S.C. - The Marshall offense peppered the Ball State pitching staff to the tune of 16 hits as five players produced multi-hit performances to defeat Ball State, 12-8 on Saturday afternoon at Watson Stadium as part of the Caravelle Resort Invitational.
Victor Ramos and James Lavinskas led the MU (5-5) offensive prowess, each going 3-for-4 at the dish. Ramos was a homer shy of the cycle, scored four times and knocked in a pair, while Lavinskas crossed home three times and plated two.
Victor Gomez, Rhett Stafford and Louie Helmburg each laced two hits as the Herd finished with a 2-2 record during the tournament hosted by Coastal Carolina. Stafford added three RBI to his stat line.
Marshall came out of the gates swinging after only collecting two hits earlier in the day against Coastal Carolina. The Herd put up a four-spot in the top of the second as MU strung together three hits in a row, including a RBI double from Ramos and successful squeeze bunt from Helmburg.
Unfortunately, the Herd defense struggled in the latter half of the inning as Ball State scored three times, with only one run being earned against starter Ryan Butler.
The scoring pendulum swayed in favor of Ball State by putting up two in the third and fourth innings and one more in the fifth to own an 8-4 cushion.
In the sixth, the Herd appeared to be rattling the Cardinals pitching staff. With runners on first and second, Thor Meeks attempted to get a bunt down. After fouling it off, the bunt play was taken off as the cleanup hitter smoked a double to left-centerfield, plating Kenny Socorro from second. Stafford laced a sac fly to get within a run, 8-6, but Ball State turned a double play with a pair of the Herd members on base to maintain the two-run lead.
After keeping the Cardinals off the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth, MU turned around and kept the momentum rolling, exploding for five runs. Socorro started the rally by reaching base on an error. Originally, Socorro was ruled out at first - even though it was apparent that the BSU first baseman was pulled off the bag on the throw. After head coach Jeff Waggoner voiced his opinion, the umpires had a meeting and overruled the call, awarding Socorro first base. Following that play, which ruffled the Cardinals' feathers, MU laced five consecutive hits en route to owning an 11-8 advantage.
The Herd tacked on its 12th run in the on a RBI infield single from Helmburg to round out the scoring for the day.
Jesse Fernandez (1-1) earned the victory out of the MU bullpen, pitching a scoreless sixth inning.
Ball State's Morgan Coombs (0-2) was tagged with the loss.