May 14, 2015
Box Score PDF
RUSTON, La. -- A 17 hit performance propelled Marshall baseball (19-31, 11-17 C-USA) to a 7-6 victory Thursday over Louisiana Tech (24-26, 7-20 C-USA) at J.C. Love Field in Ruston, La. The win marks Marshall's sixth opening series win in the last seven weeks.
It was the third most hits by the Herd this season, with every player in the lineup recording at least one. Sophomore Corey Bird (Pinch, W.Va.) was 4-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base, and junior DJ Gee (Seattle) turned in a 3-for-5 performance with two stolen bases and two RBI. This marks the fifth time this season that Bird, the leadoff hitter, has recorded four hits or more in one game.
Senior Sergio Leon (Miami) smashed his second home run of the season in a two-hit day, and junior Robert Fajardo (Miami) and sophomore Matt Reed (Purcellville, Va.) also recorded two hits apiece.
Marshall scored twice in the third inning, once in each the fifth and sixth frames, and then three runs in the seventh to take the victory. The Bulldogs threatened, taking the lead in the fourth off a three-run homer, and then scoring twice in the seventh and once in the ninth to intensify the contest.
In the third, Fajardo recorded the Herd's first hit of the game on an infield single, and after stealing second, came home on a single through the right side from Bird. The sequence was repeated when Bird stole second and then scored on a Gee hit that dropped perfectly into left field.
After a walk and hit by pitch put two Bulldogs on, a long ball sent over the right field wall put LA Tech up in the fourth, but only briefly. Marshall continued its method, as Reed led off the fifth with a single, stole a base, advanced to third on a single from Bird, and scored on yet another Gee hit to left field.
Leon gave Marshall the lead in the fifth, launching a ball over the left field wall for his second home run of the season and fourth during his Herd career.
The Herd added- what would prove to be essential- three insurance runs in the seventh. Gee led off the inning with his third consecutive hit, and then moved up on a single from senior TJ Diffenderfer (Mount Juliet, Tenn.). Both advanced another 90 feet on a bunt single from junior Aaron Bossi (St. Louis, Mo.).
With bases loaded, freshman Chad Roberts (Wilmington, Ohio) waited just one pitch before sending a ball to the wall in center field, doubling in Gee and Diffenderfer to put the Herd up 6-3. After Leon singled Roberts to third, freshman Tyler Ratliff (Alexandria, Va.) brought Roberts home with a left field single and put MU up 7-3.
The Bulldogs made it interesting, scoring twice in the seventh. With a 7-5 lead in the ninth inning, LA Tech continued to apply pressure, after back-to-back doubles put two Bulldogs on base and an infield single brought a run home.
With two men on and two outs, Marshall clinging to a one-run lead, senior Clint Wilson (Austin, Texas) entered the game, using three pitches-three strikes- to get Louisiana Tech's Zac Burger (who homered earlier) looking and end the game.
Wilson earned his third save of the season, and reliever Kolin Stanley (Beloit, Ohio) turned in a career-high five strikeouts across 2.1 innings.
Herd starter Chase Boster (Stafford, Va.) improved to 7-1 on the season.
Marshall will return to the `Love Shack' Friday for another 6 p.m. (CT) contest.
Link to Coach Waggoner's post-game interview
Sergio Leon, Sr., Shortstop
"It was another good team win. Offensively, we just outhit them, and defensively, we got into some trouble but grinded it out and found a way to stop the `bleeding', which is what good teams do. It was nice for me to get two breaking balls up with two strikes so I could put a good swing on it. I'm just happy we could get the win and I was able to contribute to that win."
Corey Bird, So., Center Fielder
"We know how important these games are, and that didn't affect us. We came out and just handled business, and everyone was seeing the ball really well from a hitting standpoint. We just have to execute these last games even better."
Clint Wilson, Sr., Relief Pitcheras
"Coming into the game with that kind of situation didn't really have any effect on me. It was definitely a pressure type of moment, but I was confident in my pitches and my defense behind me. We've worked too hard this season, so I knew I had to finish this one out the right way. Three pitches and three strikes to get him looking like that was a great way to end the game and give us the momentum for this final push."
DJ Gee, Jr., Left Fielder
"It was definitely a long, but hard fought, win. We never gave up, though, and our pitchers were able to keep us in the game, even when they didn't always bring their best stuff. We were able to hit the ball well and to push through to give them that support on the mound."