March 11, 2016
Final Stats | Box Score (PDF) | Coach Waggoner Postgame Video
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - In a marathon game, Marshall baseball outlasted the Brown University Bears in 17 innings for a 3-2 decision on Friday at the Kennedy Center Field on Route Two.
With the victory, the Herd improves to 5-6 this season, and has won its last four out of five games. Brown drops to 1-3.
Brown broke the scoreless tie in the top of the third off a wild pitch. The Bears added another run in the seventh to extend the lead to two.
The lead wouldn't last long though for Brown, as the Herd snapped its scoreless drought in the bottom of the seventh. Sam Finfer (Bellevue, Wash.) began things off with a single to right center field with one out. In the ensuing at-bat, Tommy Lane (Pendleton, Ore.) connected on a pitch and hit it to deep left center field for a two-run home run.
From the eighth inning on, the game became a pitching duel out of the bullpen. Marshall and Brown's bullpen combined for 14 half-innings of three up, three down.
A hero for Marshall rose in the 17th inning, as the hometown product, freshman Andrew Zban (Huntington, W.Va.) recorded the game-winning hit. The inning started with a Finfer walk with one out. In the following at-bat, Lane singled to center field to give the Herd a runner in scoring position. With one out, Aaron Bossi (St. Louis, Mo.) reached on a fielder's choice as Lane was out at second. With runners on the corners, Zban singled down the left field line to drive in Finfer for the game-winning run.
Starting on the mound for Marshall was senior Chase Boster (Stafford, Va.), who picked up a no decision after going seven innings and allowed two runs on six hits. Boster had two strikeouts and no walks.
No walks was a common thing for the Herd. Through 17 innings of play, Marshall allowed zero walks to Brown batters.
In relief, Marshall called upon Caleb Ross (Barboursville, W.Va.), Heston Van Fleet (Kingsville, Texas), Sam Hunter (Ashland, Ky.), Burris Warner (Auburndale, Fla.) and Fernando Guerrero (Elizabeth, N.J). Ross and Hunter combined for a scoreless inning, while Van Fleet went two innings with one strikeout. Warner made his longest appearance of the season as he went three innings with two strikeouts. Also making his longest outing of the season was Guerrero, who went four innings and allowed three hits with six strikeouts. Guerrero earned his first win of the season, and his second of his Herd career.
The 17 inning game is the longest game that the Herd has had in last 10 years. In 2009, Marshall and Morehead State played in a 16 inning game at the Kennedy Center.
Quotes from head coach Jeff Waggoner
On today's grind of a game...
"I thought both starters pitched really well. It was just a great baseball game. Our defense was good, and relievers on both sides came in and did well. It was just a grind it out game. I told the team afterwards, that everyone just stepped up and helped out. It was a great team win."
On the bullpen's dominating performance...
We've been working hard and these guys have been preparing. It was good to see because I know they can do it and it's a good confidence builder. With this type of game, hopefully it will give us some momentum and some confidence going.
On Andrew Zban...
"It was just really great to see a freshman step up in there and have his first career hit to win the game."
"Andrew is a hard worker, he's a local kid, which makes it even better. He's got a lot of tools. He's up against some upper classmen in the outfield, but I told him a couple days ago to just hang in there and keep getting better. He's gotten better since the fall, everything about his game, from the little things like bunting and base running to defense. It has gotten better. He deserves this, he works really hard and it's starting to pay off for him."
Marshall and Brown are scheduled for a doubleheader beginning at Noon tomorrow at the Kennedy Center Field.