March 16, 2018

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CHARLESTON, W.Va.-The Thundering Herd baseball team fell in its conference opener to the Blazers of UAB 5-2 on Friday at Appalachian Power Park.

The loss moved Marshall to 10-5 on the season as UAB improved to 7-9. The Herd found itself in an emergency relief situation just four innings in after starting pitcher Wade Martin exited with an injury to his right arm.

Before exiting the game, Martin was having a dominant performance on the mound. The junior pitched 4 2/3 innings allowing just one hit and striking out eight batters with no walks. Joshua Shapiro was called out on short notice and pitched 3 1/3 innings in a losing effort for the relief pitcher. The loss moves Shapiro to 1-1 on the season after he allowed four hits, three runs (earned), and struck out six with four walks in a good performance under unique circumstances.

UAB's Carson Jones picked up the win in 1 2/3 innings. Jones allowed one hit, no runs, and had no walks or strikeouts while facing five batters. The Blazers starting pitcher Tanner Graham also had a strong performance pitching 5 2/3 innings allowing just two hits, with three walks and seven strikeouts.

Third baseman Shane Hanon led the way offensively for Marshall with a team-high three walks and one hit. Shortstop Geordon Blanton and right fielder Andrew Zban scored the Herd's lone runs in the eighth inning. First baseman Will Ray collected the only RBI for Marshall on the day.

UAB's center fielder Tyler Tolbert had a strong showing with a team-high three hits and two RBIs.

It was a low-scoring affair for much of the day with the Blazers scoring the first runs of the game in the seventh innings to jump to a 2-0 lead.

Marshall responded in the bottom of the eighth when Blanton scored on a passed ball by UAB's catcher. Zban scored shortly after on a sacrifice fly by Ray to tie the game at 2-2.

In the top of the ninth UAB added three more runs on a wild play at home plate. The lead would hold for the Blazers in the bottom of the ninth as Marshall fell 5-2.

Marshall finished with two runs off of four hits and three errors. UAB had five runs off eight hits with no errors committed.

The Herd will look for revenge in game two Saturday at 3 p.m.

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