Green Wave Tops Herd 3-1

Isaac Ballou led off Thursday’s opener against Tulane with a single then came around to score and give Marshall’s baseball team an early lead, but the Green Wave came away victorious 3-1 at Turchin Stadium. 
The loss dropped the Thundering Herd to 16-36 and means Marshall must win out and have Houston lose out in order to qualify for the 2012 Conference USA tournament. Tulane improved to 36-17. 
Ballou was singled home in the top of the first on an Eric Escobedo base hit to left field. The lead would be short-lived, though, as Tulane’s leadoff hitter Brennan Middleton did the same as Ballou in the bottom of the first. Middleton led off with a single then came around to score on a well-executed double steal. 
Tulane took the lead two innings later in the third as Middleton tripled with one out before being plated by Blake Crohan’s single in the next at-bat. The Green Wave added an insurance run in the fourth when Jeremy Schaffer doubled to lead the inning off and scored three batters later on a sacrifice fly. 
Sophomore Aaron Blair (2-8) took the loss, giving up three earned runs on five hits over five innings of work. The right-hander struck out five and walked three. 
Tulane’s Alex Byo (8-4) took the win after dealing eight innings of quality pitching. Byo, who struck out seven, scattered seven hits and did not issue any walks. 
D.J. Ponder picked up the save, his 11th of the season, despite running into trouble in the ninth. With one out, freshman Sergio Leon reached base on a single to center field. In the next at-bat, Gray Stafford sent a drive to the warning track in right field, but Tulane right fielder Nick Schneeberger was there for the catch. 
With its final breath, Marshall put another runner on base in the ninth with a Thor Meeks single to center field, but both runners were left stranded as Ponder jammed senior Eric Semeniuk to force a soft pop-up. 
Marshall left eight runners on base for the game, including leaving the bases loaded in the fourth. 
Stafford finished the game 2-for-4 and was the only Herd hitter to record multiple hits.
Game two of the series will begin Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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