April 14, 2017
Final Stats | Box Score (PDF)
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Marshall baseball team suffered a 7-3 loss in game one of its three-game series at Florida Atlantic on Friday evening at the FAU Baseball Stadium.
The Thundering Herd falls to 17-16 (6-7 Conference USA), while the Owls improve to 23-9-1 (10-3 C-USA). Sophomore left-handed pitcher Joshua Shapiro (1-4) suffered the setback. Florida Atlantic's Alex House (5-1) tossed a complete game and earned the win.
Florida Atlantic put the pressure on Marshall in the bottom of the second by scoring four runs. The Owls loaded the bases with no outs after back-to-back singles and an error on Tyler Ratliff at third base. Left fielder Eric Rivera drove in the first run with a single to right field. After Shapiro collected his first strikeout of the game, he walked Jared Shouppe to walk in a run. FAU earned its last two runs of the inning from an Esteban Puerta single through the left side that scored two.
Marshall responded in the top of the fourth and cut its deficit to one run. Sam Finfer led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Shane Hanon reached on a throwing error, as Finfer advanced to third. With runners on the corners, Tommy Lane hit a single to center field that scored Finfer and moved Hanon to second. Later in the inning with the bases loaded and one out, Billy Sager singled up the middle to score Hanon. Lane came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Leo Valenti.
The game was quiet until the bottom of the seventh and eighth inning. The Owls added an insurance run in the seventh off a Jordan Poole RBI single to center field. In the eighth, David Miranda put the FAU lead out of reach for the Herd by hitting a two-run home run to right field.
Shapiro tossed 6.2 innings in the loss. The Columbus, Ohio native allowed four earned runs on nine hits. He had five strike outs and five walks. Hunter Sexton made his 16th appearance in relief. Sexton went 1.1 innings and allowed two runs on one hit. He had two strikeouts.
The Herd had five players combine for six hits. Sager led the team by going 2-for-4 with a RBI. Finfer, Lane, Zban and Valenti each had a hit. Lane has now reached base safely in 14 straight games, fourth longest streak this season for Marshall.
Marshall and Florida Atlantic will play game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 4 p.m. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Wade Martin is scheduled to get the start for the Herd.