3:06pm: Hotline with Dave Weekley

Pirates Sink Herd’s Ship

Marshall baseball had the opportunity to sweep East Carolina at Appalachian Power Park, but the Herd would only win one game due to late rallies by the Pirates on Friday and Sunday.
Marshall held a six run lead in the 9th inning Friday night and had ECU down to its last two outs. However, three pitchers and six Pirate runs later, the game was tied 8-8.  ECU catcher Zach Wright wasted no time securing the winning run in the top of the 10th inning, homering to left off of freshman Josh King. That would be all the Pirates would require, taking the 9-8 victory.
Then on Sunday, in the top of the ninth trailing by one, ECU used a pinch-hit RBI single up the middle by freshman Jonathan Holt to tie the game. The Pirates brought the winning run home by knocking Holt in from third on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze by sophomore Phillip Clark.  ECU held Marshall scoreless in the bottom of the inning and secured the 5-4 victory.
“We just need to learn how to put the pedal down when we have the lead,” head coach Jeff Waggoner said. “It’s something we haven’t been able to do all year.”
A bright spot in the weekend series for Marshall was the performance by all three starting pitchers.  Freshman Aaron Blair threw a gem on Friday, going six complete innings, allowing no runs, only one walk and recording six strikeouts.  
On Saturday, junior Mike Mason improved his season record to 3-3, tossing six complete innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out six in Marshall’s 7-1 win.
Senior Arik Sikula recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts in 7.1 innings of work but did not figure into Sunday’s decision.
“All three guys did a great job and gave us a chance to win,” Waggoner said. “They all had quality outings and that’s all you could ask for.”
Marshall’s record now stands at 18-26 overall and 5-13 in conference play.
Marshall’s next conference tilt is this weekend at Power Park. The Herd will play host to Tulane for a three-game weekend series in Charleston with the first game set for Friday at 2 p.m., at Appalachian Power Park.

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