CHARLESTON, W.Va.– Marshall was unable to hold on in the top of the 9th inning as the Southern Miss Golden Eagles put up 3 runs in the top of the 9th to come away with a 3-1 victory in the Thundering Herd’s opening game of Conference USA play at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.
Senior Josh King took the loss for the Herd, which falls to 5-11 with the loss, despite throwing 8+ innings giving up five hits, two walks and seven strikeouts. He was tacked with the loss because he put the first three runners of the top of the 9th inning on base.
Ryan Hopkins came in to relieve King and got an out on a fielder’s choice to Marshall third baseman Aaron Bossi who threw home to cut down the runner trying to score. One batter later, pinch hitter Breck Kline hit a double to left that plated two runs, giving the Golden Eagles a 2-1 lead.
Kolin Stanley was called out of the bullpen trying to get the last two outs of the inning and to limit the damage. He gave up another run on a sacrifice fly to Nick Dawson which put the score at 3-1 in favor of the Golden Eagles. Stanley got out of the inning on a strikeout of the next batter, sending the Herd to the plate needing two runs to send the game to extras or three runs to win it.
Southern Miss sent Bradley Roney to close the game out. He got off to a rocky start, walking Marshall’s John Beary on five pitches. He then struck out Herd left fielder Robert Fajardo followed by inducing a double play by Marshall centerfielder Corey Bird to end the game with the Golden Eagles winning 3-1 to take game one of the series.
Southern Miss reliever Ryan Milton was credited with the win. Golden Eagles starter Christian Talley went five innings giving up one run, three hits and four walks while striking out nine Thundering Herd batters.
Games two and three will be played tomorrow afternoon as a doubleheader beginning at 1 PM. St. Albans native Michael Taylor will start one of the games for the Herd tomorrow, and the other game will be started by Matt Margaritonda. Game two of the doubleheader will start 30-45 minutes after game one.
— Braxton Crisp