Marshall Goes Hitless in 5-1 Loss to Wake Forest
Wake Forest starter Brian Holmes threw a complete game no-hitter as the Demon Deacons completed the two-game series sweep of Marshall Sunday evening with a 5-1 victory at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
It was the first time the lefty from Lawrenceville, Ga. pitched a complete game and the first time since Feb. 28, 2007 that Marshall was no-hit. In that contest, West Virginia Tech’s Marty Wiesler hurled nine innings of hitless ball in a 2-0 triumph at Epling Field in East Bank, W.Va.
In Sunday’s game, Holmes (3-0) struck out 10, walked one, and hit three batters in a 125-pitch effort that saw Wake Forest (9-4) win its eighth straight. The Thundering Herd dropped to 4-7 with the loss.
Josh King (1-1) got the start and pitched effectively for four and one third innings but was saddled with the loss. The sophomore encountered trouble after a walk in the first but escaped the inning with only a single run of damage. Charlie Morgan’s single through the right side put the Demon Deacons on top 1-0, and they would add insurance to it four innings later with back-to-back sacrifice flies. In all, King threw 4.1 innings, gave up three runs (all earned) on five hits, struck out four, and walked three.
Joe Church, Lance Elder, Matt Margaritonda, and Jesse Fernandez all worked relief roles. Elder entered the game in the sixth and took the Herd out of an immediate bases-loaded jam by inducing a double play before ringing up Evan Stephens to end the inning. The top of the Wake Forest order would tag Elder with two runs on two hits, however, in the seventh and extend the lead to 5-1.
The Herd added its run in the sixth via a hit batsman, a walk, a second hit batsman, and a sacrifice fly. Nathan Gomez had the sac fly RBI which scored John Gandolfo in a bases-loaded, one out situation.
Marshall earned a base-runner in only one other inning – the second – when Thor Meeks was hit by a Holmes pitch. Holmes retired 12 straight early on and ended the game sitting down the final 11 Marshall hitters.
The Herd offense went a combined 0-for-26.
Holmes set the Herd down in order in seven of the nine frames.
With the loss, Marshall’s team batting average drops to .255 but remains five points higher than that of the Herd’s opponents (.250). Nathan Gomez, who saw an eight-game hitting streak wiped clean, now leads the team at .325.
Marshall will challenge the Kentucky Wildcats Wednesday at 4 p.m. before heading back to North Carolina for a three-game series with Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs at the end of the week.
Marshall Falls to Wake Forest 6-1 in Saturday Nightcap
The Marshall baseball team fell on the road to Wake Forest by a score of 6-1 in a Saturday nightcap at the Wake Forest Baseball Park earlier this evening.
The loss set the Thundering Herd back to two games below five hundred at 4-6 while the Demon Deacons improved to 7-4 and extended their winning streak to six games.
Marshall starter Mike Mason (2-1) left one up in the zone to Carlos Lopez in the second inning, and the cleanup hitter left no doubt, sending it over the fence for Mason’s first blemish of the season. The top of the Wake Forest order would go on to deal more damage in the fourth and fifth as Lopez hit his second straight home run on his next at-bat in the fourth, and Mac Williamson notched a two-RBI single in the fifth.
The top of the order indeed proved to be a thorn in Mason’s side as the first four hitters of Wake Forest’s lineup combined for eight hits in 14 at-bats, driving in and scoring all six runs. The rest of the Demon Deacons went a combined 3-for-18.
On the other side, Marshall found no way of helping Mason with any runs. The Herd struck out nine times at the hands of Deac starter Tim Cooney and did not manage a runner to second base until the sixth. Cooney, a lefty, worked 8.0 innings and allowed just five hits; two of those hits came off the bat of Eric Escobedo.
Mason’s earned run average increased to 2.95 after the contest in which he struck out three, walked two, and allowed six runs (all earned) on nine hits. Those three strikeouts moved him to ninth all-time
Herd Baseball Comes From Behind to Defeat Eastern Michigan 6-3
Gray Stafford came through with an RBI double in the eighth to break a late tie and put the Thundering Herd baseball team into its first lead Saturday afternoon as the team exacted its revenge on Eastern Michigan, winning 6-3.
In a rematch – and almost role-reversed replay – of yesterday’s early game, the Marshall baseball team scored three runs in the eighth to surge ahead of the Eagles and improve to 4-5 this season. Eastern Michigan dropped to 3-7, having lost a nail-biter to Wake Forest Friday night after beating the Herd in a come-back victory of its own.
The Herd’s eighth began when Nathan Gomez singled up the middle and took second on an errant throw from Eagle shortstop Tucker Rubino. Stafford stepped to the plate facing what might have turned into his fourth straight game without a hit. Instead, the junior took the first pitch he saw deep off the wall in left field, scoring Gomez easily.
The Herd added two more runs in that inning via another error from Rubino, this time on a situational play that saw a hard-hit ground ball go through the shortstop’s legs.
Joe Church (1-0) tossed 1.1 innings of perfect relief and picked up his first win of the season.
Wayland Moore came in to relieve Marshall starter Ryan Hopkins in the middle of the fourth. The lefty threw 4.0 sterling innings, which included easing his way out of the runners-on-second-and-third jam he inherited in the fourth. Moore retired the first 10 hitters he faced, allowed one hit, and struck out three which helped keep Marshall in the game despite trailing during the middle innings.
Hopkins threw 3.2 innings, allowed three runs (all earned) on four hits, walked one, and struck out one in his second straight no-decision.
Isaac Ballou provided the game-tying RBI in the seventh on a sacrifice fly that scored Sergio Leon. Marshall’s other runs came on a long ball from Gomez in the fifth. Again on a first pitch, the junior bombed one off the Wake Forest scoreboard, scoring Ballou. It was the second straight game the first baseman put one over the fence.
Leon’s hit in the seventh extended his hitting streak to eight games.
For Eastern Michigan, third baseman Ben Magsig went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBIs, and a run scored. Starting pitcher Brian Valente was tagged with the loss despite striking out six in the 7.0 inning effort.