GREENVILLE, N.C.— Matt Margaritonda struck out 11 and tossed a complete game as Marshall took the rubber match with East Carolina Sunday afternoon 5-2.
“Matt is a competitor,” first year Pitching Coach Josh Newman said of his hurler. “He attacked the hitters and pitched to contact from his first pitch to his last.”
In just his fourth career start Margaritonda allowed two runs and just one walk as Marshall clinched its first conference opening series since 2009.
“It’s fun and easy to pitch when your defense is as strong as ours was today,” Margaritonda said. “I put confidence into all my pitches knowing that those guys behind me can get any ball that’s hit, and that’s something hard to find. It makes it a nice and easy game, and it’s not too bad to get a few strikeouts in between.”
Chase Vogelbach led Marshall offensively, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs driven in.
The Herd split a doubleheader with the Pirates on Saturday. The Herd won the first game 9-8 surviving a Pirate comeback in the bottom of the ninth inning. Marshall took an 8-3 lead in the seventh but the Pirates battled back in the final frame. ECU plated three runs and got the tying run to third base. However, sophomore Alex Thackston forced a fly ball to earn his first save of the season.
In the second game of the doubleheader, The Herd’s bats went silent. Marshall registered just four hits in the contest. ECU scored the only run it needed in the fourth inning.
Marshall, now 5-9 on the season, will play its first home game of the season Tuesday night when it plays host to Morehead State.