Herd baseball takes series with FIU
HUNTINGTON — Marshall scored seven unanswered runs, capped by a three-run double from Zach Inskeep in the bottom of the eighth, to give Marshall a 7-4 win over FIU and a Conference USA series win at George Smailes Field at the YMCA Kennedy Center on Sunday.
While Inskeep provided the biggest hit of the game, it was the work of the bullpen — 7.2 innings of scoreless relief — that was the catalyst for Marshall (12-6, 2-1 Conference USA).
“Winning a series is always big in Conference USA, it’s a great conference,” 13th-year head coach Jeff Waggoner said. “Just being down four runs and having the confidence to comeback today was great. This group believes in one another. It’s fun to watch how their confidence builds.”
Marshall relievere Patrick Murphy came on in relief of starter Philip Hoffman and threw 4.2 innings of one-hit baseball, striking out five and keeping Marshall in the game until the offense could come around.
“It’s fun,” Murphy said about getting back on the hill this season after missing the last season and a half with an injury. “I started out a little slow, but I’m starting to get back into it and it’s a lot of fun to be around the guys.”
In the second inning, Marshall started to chip away at the deficit as Tucker Linder cut the FIU lead in half with a two-out, two-run single.
Marshall then evened the game up in the bottom of the fourth when Elvia Peralta hit a two-run double down the left-field line.
In the eighth, Peralta, Linder and Geordon Blanton each connected for singles to load the bases with no outs before Inskeep drove a pitch down the left-field line to clear the bases and give the Herd the lead for good.
“He (Inskeep) is a great hitter,” Waggoner said of Inskeep. “But more importantly he’s a great teammate. He’s fun to be around, he brings energy and comes to work every day.”
Michael Guerrero shut down FIU in the ninth to earn his second save and give the Herd a series win in conference play.
On Wednesday, Marshall travels to Charleston for a 4 p.m. Wednesday affair against Virginia Tech before hitting the road for a series at Charlotte this weekend.