Errors plague Herd baseball in 11-7 loss to UTSA
HUNTINGTON – Marshall University’s baseball team learned a tough lesson Friday afternoon.
When a team has a solid top of the lineup, giving it extra outs is not an equation for a win. The Thundering Herd committed five errors and the top of UTSA’s lineup fared well throughout as the Roadrunners earned an 11-7 win over Marshall on George T. Smailes Field at the Huntington YMCA Kennedy Center.
“You have to win games when you put up seven runs on a Friday night in this league,” Marshall coach Jeff Waggoner said. “We just didn’t get it done.”
UTSA (22-24, 10-12 C-USA) scored in each of its final five at-bats, using clutch two-out hitting and the strength of the top of its lineup to keep the Herd at arm’s length.
The top five spots in the Roadrunners’ lineup went a combined 12-for-24 with eight runs batted in. That effort was led by cleanup hitter Dylan Rock, who went 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and four RBI.
While the bottom of the UTSA lineup did not produce much throughout the contest, one of the key hits came from No. 9 hitter Shane Sirdashney who tripled to left-center field to score the go-ahead run after Marshall had come back to knot the game 6-6.
Sirdashney’s triple chased Marshall starting pitcher Joshua Shapiro from the game after a frustrating outing. The Herd’s senior ace took the loss, allowing eight runs — five earned – in 5 1/3 innings while striking out five.
“Shapiro wasn’t as sharp as he can be – left some balls out over the plate,” Waggoner said. “He was cruising and then he didn’t get some calls, but that’s the way it goes.”
Shapiro cruised through the first
two frames as Marshall took a 2-0 lead, but errors started to creep up and hurt the Herd in the third inning. Two of Marshall’s five errors came in the third to prolong the inning, then the Roadrunners got three consecutive hits to take a 3-2 lead.
As bad weather started to move into the area in the fifth inning, UTSA extended its advantage when Rock sent a 2-0 fastball over the left-center wall for a homer that increased the advantage to 6-2.
Immediately, however, Marshall (23-23, 10-12 C-USA) rallied as the first four batters notched hits, capped by Tucker Linder’s single that got past the center fielder and plated a pair of runs that cut it to a one-run game. Linder then scored on a two-out single by Raul Cabrera to tie the game 6-6.
“Offensively, we came back two times there and we didn’t quit,” Waggoner said. “Give them credit though. They’re a good team.”
Shane Hanon, who returned to action for the Herd after missing the last 22 games, finished with two RBI and a pair of runs scored while Luke Edwards and Geordon Blanton each had two hits.
In addition to Rock’s big day, Bryan Arias finished 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI for UTSA.
The teams return to George T. Smailes Field at 9 a.m. Saturday for the second game of the series. Game time was moved up because of expected inclement weather.