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Herd baseball blows lead at ODU

The Herald-DispatchMay 14, 2019

NORFOLK, Virginia — Marshall picked a bad time to have one of its worst weekends of the baseball season.

After dropping the first two games of a pivotal Conference USA series at Old Dominion, it appeared the Thundering Herd was in line to get a win in the series finale.

However, the Monarchs scored six runs over the last two innings to win 9-8 and earn a series sweep of Marshall on Sunday at Bud Metheny Complex.

With the loss, Marshall drops to 24-26 overall and, more importantly, 11-15 in Conference USA action, which leaves them in a tie for seventh heading into next week’s final conference series at home against Rice.

Marshall led 8-3 in the contest after plating three runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh, but the bullpen could not close out the win.

Old Dominion (32-18, 14-13 C-USA) cut the lead to 8-6 after scoring three runs against reliever Michael Guerrero in the eighth, which set the stage for the wild finish.

D’Andre Knight came in to relieve Guerrero after a walk in the ninth, but was rudely greeted as ODU’s Andy Garriola hit a two-run home run to tie the game.

Knight came back to get a pair of outs, but a walk, hit batsman and error that would’ve ended the inning kept things alive before Knight uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Cory Alexander to score, giving the Monarchs a Senior Day win.

Marshall out-hit the Monarchs, 15-11, in the win, but free passes were the Herd’s undoing — especially in the late innings of the game.

The Herd jumped out to the five-run lead after an Erik Rodriguez triple and RBI singles by Shane Hanon and Rey Pastrana pushed the advantage to 8-3.

One inning prior, Marshall had broken a 3-all tie when Raul Cabrera singled home Elvia Peralta and Luke Edwards followed with a two-run double.

Pastrana finished 3-for-5 on the day while Rodriguez, Hanon, Edwards and Tucker Linder each added two hits in the loss.

Garriola finished with three RBIs for Old Dominion, who also got a three-hit performance from Matt Schwarz.

Track and field

CHARLOTTE — Marshall finished with its most points since 2013, which was good enough for seventh place at the Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday in Charlotte.

The Herd finished with three second-place finishes — all in track events — at the C-USA Outdoor Championships.

Safiyyah Mitchell’s time of 13.66 seconds was good enough for silver in the 100-meter hurdles while teammate Taylor Robinson ended up fifth at 14:03.

In the 400-meter hurdles, Ashonti Warner broke the school-record with a time of 59.58 seconds, which was also good enough for silver, while teammate Christianna Dogan was fourth at 1:00.04 for the school’s second-best time in history.

The 4x100 relay team also took silver with Mitchell joining Brandy Elysee, Kayla Haywood and Talor Wilkerson to finish in 46.22 — a stark increase over their ranking of 12th in the league entering weekend action.

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