The Marshall baseball team gave up four runs in the bottom half of the second inning and fell to the UAB Blazers in game three of the conference opening series 5-1 Sunday at Young Memorial Field.
The four runs proved to be the difference in the game as the Blazers came from behind in both the game and the series.
UAB benefitted from four hits and two walks in the bottom of the second on Sunday as six straight hitters reached base. Blazer first baseman John Frost’s single up the middle scored two and ultimately forced Marshall starter Wayland Moore (0-1) into an early exit. The junior threw 1.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on five hits. He also walked two and struck out none.
UAB starter Michael Busby (2-1) hurled 7.2 innings, allowed six hits and one (earned) run while striking out eight. The senior right-hander, who picked up the win, retired 10 straight before he and his relief staff would sit down the last eight Herd hitters. In all, 18 of the final 19 Marshall at-bats ended with an out. Marshall recorded only one base runner beyond the fourth inning.
Alfredo Brito and Adrian Farris had two hits apiece as the Thundering Herd dropped to 10-13 overall and 1-2 in C-USA. UAB improved to 15-9 (2-1 C-USA).
Thor Meeks and Isaac Ballou were the only other Marshall hitters to record hits as the offense continued to struggle to produce base runners.
UAB’s offense was fueled by Ivan De Jesus who went 4-for-4 with four singles and an RBI. Frost drove in three runs.
Ryan Hopkins, Matt Margaritonda, and Joe Church all pitched in relief of Moore. The trio combined for six strikeouts and allowed a run on six hits. Margaritonda’s single inning of work, the sixth, saw UAB plate an unearned run when
Jacob German reached base on Andrew Dundon’s fielding error at short. Frost gathered the RBI that scored German three batters later.
Church worked through trouble in the eighth when he avoided a bases-loaded, one out situation by striking out Frost and getting Blazer Ryan Ussery on an easy groundout.
The Herd scored its run in the second via three singles. Brito led off the inning with a single to right, and Meeks drove him in three batters later to give Marshall the early lead.