RUSTON, La. — Just over a week ago, Marshall’s baseball program was seeking its first Conference USA win of the 2021 season.
This weekend, however, the Herd started to find itself, getting a 7-2 win on Sunday over No. 14 Louisiana Tech, giving the team a series split with the nationally ranked Bulldogs at Pat Patterson Park.
Marshall (8-24, 4-16 C-USA) never trailed in the contest, using the long ball to forge an early lead.
Peter Hutzal hit two home runs on the day — the first giving Marshall an early advantage and the second steadying the ship in the sixth after Louisiana Tech had cut Marshall’s lead to 3-2 following a pair of runs in the fifth.
Marshall’s pitching staff was solid on Sunday as Johnny Cheatwood got the win, allowing just one earned run on two hits in his two innings of work.
The bullpen behind Cheatwood kept Louisiana Tech’s bats off balance with Cody Sharp throwing two innings and allowing one hit while striking out three, and Josh Zeboskey recording all three outs by strikeout in his lone inning of work. D’Andre Knight finished the game with a clean ninth after getting a double play following a leadoff walk.
Much like Saturday’s second game when the Herd offense produced runs late to build an insurmountable lead, the bats got going again to provide insurance.
In the eighth inning, Kyle Schaefer doubled to score Cyrus Grimes to make it 5-2 and the Herd tacked on another pair in the ninth when Ryan Leitch was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded before Schaefer grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Travis Sankovich for the game’s final run.
Sankovich also homered in the top of the fifth to produce a 3-0 lead for Marshall.
Of Marshall’s eight hits in the win, five were for extra bases.
Hutzal and Sankovich each finished with two hits and two RBIs for Marshall, which returns home next weekend for a series against Western Kentucky starting Friday at 3 p.m. at George Smailes Field in Huntington.