In a 14-inning dual of the Marshall and UAB pitching staffs, the Blazers were able to escape with a 2-1 victory on Sunday afternoon at Power Park to take the rubber match of the three-game series.
Marshall’s (9-13, 1-2 C-USA) Arik Sikula, Josh King, Ian Kadish, Kyle Blank and Joe Church (1-1) combined for 13 strikeouts, just two walks and allowed no earned runs on the day. Sikula turned in another stellar outing, as the senior did not earn a decision. The righty worked the first seven frames, scattering seven hits, giving up one run (unearned) with seven K’s. He has not allowed an earned run over his last 21 innings spanning three starts and four total appearances.
Reliever Ian Kadish also produced a strong performance on the bump working from the ninth into the 13th stanza (4.2 IP) giving up two singles and striking out four.
Ben Bullard (3-0), who worked three scoreless frames earned the win, while Nance came in from leftfield to retire the final three outs for his sixth save of the season.
MU notched the first run of the game in the bottom of the third when Ramos knocked in Socorro with a one-out double into the leftfield corner off UAB starter Michael Busby.
In the top half of the fourth, the visitors answered right back when Nance lined a RBI single to right center to even the score, 1-1.
The score would not alter from the 1-1 tie for the next 10 innings as the Herd squandered a few opportunities, including leaving the bases loaded in the fourth and 10th.
In the bottom of the ninth with runners on second and third with no outs, MU had the win in reach, just 90-feet away. UAB brought the infield in for Socorro, who rocketed a ball but it went right to the shortstop for the first out of the frame. An attempted squeeze play with the next batter turned into an inning-ending double play, providing bonus baseball for the 157 fans in the stands.
The Herd stranded a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the 13th and 14th as the team left 13 men on base during the contest.
NEXT UP: Marshall will play a nonconference game against Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday at 3 p.m. in Lexington, Ky. The midweek tilt will serve as a tune up before heading to Houston for a three-game set with No. 18 Rice.