Morgantown, WV – The West Virginia Mountaineers fell to the Marshall Thundering Herd Friday night at Monongalia County Ballpark 6-4. The Herd put together a five-run fourth inning that led them to split the two-game exhibition series after WVU beat Marshall in Charleston last Friday 8-7.
West Virginia starting pitcher Haden Erbe began his evening retiring the first three batters he faced and kept the Thundering Herd off the board through three innings only giving up a hit and striking out six.
The Mountaineers took the lead in the bottom of the third after Austin Davis led the inning smacking a double that drifted down the leftfield line. Braden Zarbnisky moved him to third with a sacrifice grounder to second and Tyler Doanes lined a single into centerfield to put WVU 1-0.
Dillon Meadows took the mound to start the fourth and gave up a single, hit a batter and walked another to give Marshall the bases loaded with no outs.
Zach Gardiner tied the game on a fielder’s choice over to first base. Then with one out and runners at first and second, Brady Garrison doubled into left field to give the Herd the lead. After a fielder’s choice a home that preserved a run, Jaren Lovely loaded the bases with a single before Geordon Blanton tripled and Marshall took a commanding 5-1 lead.
That led WVU head coach Randy Mazey to go to his bullpen for freshman Skyler Gonzalez and he got Luke Edwards to fly out to left field to end the inning.
Marshall added another in the fifth when Jordan Billups hit a deep line-drive to the centerfield wall to lead-off the inning then consecutive sacrifice line-drives to center gave the Thundering Herd a 6-1 advantage.
West Virginia scored two in the eighth after Ryan Archibald and Chris Klein hit back-to-back one-out singles then D’Andre Knight walked consecutive batters to bring one run and Austin Davis hit a sacrifice groundball to cut into the Herd lead 6-3.
The Mountaineers mustered up another run in the bottom of the ninth after an infield error but fell short leaving the tying runner on first as Chris Klein flied out to left field to end the game.
Randy Mazey threw five different pitchers on the night. They combined for 5 1/3 innings only giving up one hit and a run.
Skyler Gonzalez 1/3IP
Sam Servello 1IP 1H 1R 1ER
Jacob Watters 1 IP 3SO
Jake Carr 2 IP 1BB 1SO
Carter Lyles 1 IP 2SO