Marshall edges ECU, 4-3
BECKLEY -- Marshall University squared its weekend baseball series with East Carolina at one win apiece with a 4-3 victory Saturday night at Epling Stadium.
Marshall (19-30, 6-14 Conference USA) scored twice in the eighth inning to overtake the Pirates.
Gray Stafford got the winning rally going when he was hit by a pitch and Isaac Ballou followed by drawing a walk. Nathan Gomez hit into a fielder's choice that erased Stafford and pushed Ballou to third base.
Eric Escobedo singled to left field, scoring Ballou and putting Gomez on third.
Aaron Bossi was safe on an error that allowed Gomez to score the final run.
East Carolina (27-23, 11-9 C-USA) knocked Marshall starting pitcher Aaron Blair out of the game with two runs in the seventh and took a 3-2 lead.
After Blair retired the first two Pirates in the seventh inning, Zach Houchins singled and Chase McDonald walked. Ben Fultz reached on an error, loading the bases. Philip Clark bunted back to Blair for a base hit, and a Thundering Herd throwing error allowed two runs to score.
Marshall relief pitcher Ryan Hopkins replaced Blair and finished the game to get the win.
David Lucroy started on the mound for East Carolina and went 5.2 innings. Reliever Brett Mabry took the loss.
Herd pinch-runner Robert Fajardo had a stolen base and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning.
Another wild pitch by the Pirates -- one of four by Lucroy -- helped Marshall score in the sixth inning. Ballou walked and Gomez moved him to third base with a single. Ballou crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
Marshall had only four hits in the game -- a double by Ballou and singles by Gomez, Escobedo and Bossi.
East Carolina's eight hits included two apiece by McDonald and Bryan Bass.
The series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m.
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