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Marshall baseball team opens season

Feb. 15, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Freshman right-hander Chase Boster takes the mound Friday for the Marshall University baseball season opener against Old Dominion at the Bud Metheny Complex in Norfolk, Va.

Friday's game begins at 3 p.m. The teams also play Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Marshall, 17-37 last season, was predicted to finish last in nine-team Conference USA. Senior first baseman Nathan Gomez and senior outfielder Isaac Ballou are the top hitters returning for a Thundering Herd team that has 16 newcomers.

Gomez had a .316 batting average, three home runs and 38 runs batted in in 2012. Ballou hit .308 with two homers and 24 RBIs.

Senior outfielder Gray Stafford led Marshall in the final month of last season with a .382 average.

Old Dominion (19-34 in 2012) joins C-USA for the 2014 season.

Sophomore outfielder Josh Eldridge, senior pitcher Brandon Smith and junior pitcher Dean Ali of the Monarchs were preseason All-Colonial Athletic Association selections.

Eldridge led the 2012 team with a .299 average. Smith collected eight wins and three saves in relief. Ali, a right-hander starting Friday, was 3-4 with a 2.32 ERA.

TENNIS

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall is hosting Winthrop and No. 48 Penn State for women's tennis matches Friday and Saturday in the Huntington Tennis Club.

Marshall and Winthrop play at 4 p.m., Friday. Saturday's match begins at 11 a.m.

The Thundering Herd (3-4) won its last match against Miami (Ohio), 5-2, to snap a four-match losing streak.

Winthrop is 2-3 and coming off a victory over wake Forest. Yasmine Alkema of the Eagles is ranked No. 107 in singles.

Penn State is off to a 5-0 season start.

SOFTBALL

ATLANTA -- Marshall softball plays Indiana and No. 24 Georgia Tech in Friday games of the Georgia Tech Classic at Mewborn Field.

The schedule:

Friday

12:30 p.m., vs Indiana.

3:30 p.m., vs. Georgia Tech

Saturday

10:30 a.m., vs. Indiana

5:30 p.m., vs. Miami

Sunday

11 a.m., vs. Miami

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