May 3, 2014
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A case of déjà vu struck the baseball field this afternoon after Marshall mounted a late-inning comeback from a 3-0 deficit for the second straight day to complete a 7-3 victory Saturday afternoon at Power Park.
Just like last night's series opener, LA Tech (14-29, 4-19 C-USA) led 3-0 over Marshall (20-24, 10-12 C-USA) after six and a half innings of play, but the Thundering Herd scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to complete the comeback and seal a series victory. With the loss, the Bulldogs have officially been eliminated from the Conference USA Tournament and postseason play.
Starter Michael Taylor (3-6) earned the win for Marshall after giving up three runs on four LA Tech hits with three walks and four strikeouts in seven innings on the mound. Taylor was the pitcher of record when the Thundering Herd took the lead, before Lance Elder came on to pitch a perfect eighth inning for Marshall. Alex Thackston came on in the ninth to close out the win for Marshall, while recording two strikeouts and facing the minimum three batters.
Richie Navari (5-5) started and was charged with the loss for the Bulldogs after pitching six innings and giving up four runs on eight hits with a walk and three hit batters. Navari left the game in the seventh after a lead-off double and two hit batters loaded the bases for Marshall with no outs.
Eric Dunbar came on in relief and faced two batters, allowing one run on a hit before Laetten Galbraith came in to pitch for the Bulldogs. Galbraith gave up two runs on two hits and struck out one in 0.2 innings, before Jared Keating pitched a scoreless eighth inning for LA Tech.
With a no-hitter and a shutout for Marshall heading into the fifth inning, Stephen Gandy erased both of those with one swing of the bat, as the senior designated hitter hit his second home run of the season to left field for a 1-0 LA Tech lead.
In the sixth, shortstop Chandler Hall reached first on a lead-off walk before advancing to second on a wild pitch. A ground ball allowed Hall to advance to third, followed by a sacrifice fly ball by Bre'shon Kimbell to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage. Later in the inning, LA Tech scored again to make it 3-0 on an RBI single by Tyler Qualls.
Eric Escobedo led off the seventh for Marshall with a double to left field and eventually came around to score on a bunt single by Corey Bird to make it 3-1 in favor of LA Tech. Aaron Bosse was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Navari was taken out with the bases juiced and no outs in the seventh. Dunbar struck out Sergio Leon for the first out of the inning, but it was TJ Diffenderfer who came through with a two-run single to left field to knot the game at 3-3.
An infield single loaded the bases for the second time in the seventh, followed by a ground ball to Ryan Jones at third base by Matt Reed for a fielder's choice. Jones threw home to get the force out, but a wild throw allowed two runs to score for a 5-3 Marshall lead. It was Escobedo's second at bat of the inning that allowed the final two Marshall runs to score, as a two-RBI single up the middle by the Herd right fielder gave the home team its seventh run of the inning and a 7-3 lead over LA Tech.
Gandy was 1-for-3 with a home run and RBI, while Qualls had the only other RBI base knock for the Bulldogs on the day. Colby Johnson and Thomas Simoneaux each had one hit in the loss as well for a total of four LA Tech base knocks.
Escobedo was 2-for-4 at the plate for Marshall with a double and two RBI, while Diffenderfer also had two RBI for the Herd. Bird led Marshall with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate with a walk and a run scored.
LA Tech was out-hit 11 to four by the Thundering Herd, while the Bulldogs had two errors in the game and Marshall had none.
The Bulldogs will wrap up their three-game series with Marshall at 10 a.m. CT on Sunday at Power Park in Charleston.
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