Olympic Sports

Herd eliminated from C-USA Tournament with 7-4 loss to Charlotte

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Marshall baseball team suffered its fifth-straight loss, as it dropped a 7-4 decision to the Charlotte 49ers on Friday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park. The Thundering Herd moves to 25-28 (12-17 Conference USA) and is officially eliminated from the C-USA Tournament with the loss. Starting pitcher Will Ray (3-3) suffered the setback after allowing six runs on eight hits through five innings. He had two strikeouts.

Charlotte improves to 31-22 (17-12 C-USA). Relief pitcher Matt Horkey (1-2) picked up the win by throwing 2.2 innings and allowed one run on three hits. Matt Brooks earned his second save of the season. Charlotte took an early one-run lead in the top of the second inning. Logan Sherer got things started for the ‘Niners with a one-out triple to left-center field. He was driven in after a Reece Hampton RBI double down the right field line.

The Thundering Herd responded and took the lead in the bottom of the third. In his first start since March, Damian Rodriguez took the first pitch he saw and doubled down the left field line. Later in the inning, Andrew Zban scored Rodriguez with a double down the left field line. Marshall followed by loading the bases with back-to-back walks of Tyler Ratliff and Sam Finfer with two outs. Shane Hanon capitalized with a two-RBI single to right field, scoring Zban and Ratliff.

MUBB 2017 Shane Hanon

Centerfielder Shane Hanon had a two-RBI base hit in the third inning to give Marshall a 3-1 lead, but Charlotte rallied with three home runs to beat Marshall 7-4 and eliminate the Herd from next week’s C-USA Tourney. (HI file photo)

The lead was short-lived for the Herd as Charlotte tied the game at three in the following half inning. Jackson Mims and Sherer hit back-to-back solo home runs to left field. The 49ers took control of the game in the top of the fifth inning with three runs. Hunter Jones led off with a single through the left side. Harris Yett followed with a RBI double to center field. Zach Jarrett cleared the bases with a two-run home run to left field. Charlotte kept showing off its power in the top of the sixth with its fourth home run of the game. Sherer led off with his second solo homer of the game to left field.

The Herd cut its deficit to three runs in the following half of the frame. Billy Sager worked the count full and then hit a triple to right field. Tommy Lane drove in Sager with a sacrifice fly to center field. Marshall was unable to get anything going in the final three innings, as Brooks retired nine straight Herd batters to clinch the win for Charlotte.

Six players for the Thundering Herd recorded hits in the contest. Hanon led the way by going 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Zban finished 1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Sager, catcher Reynaldo Pastrana, Rodriguez and shortstop Leo Valenti each had a hit.

Hunter Sexton, Mark Meyer, and Jacob Bradley made relief appearances. Sexton went two innings and allowed one run on two hits. Meyer and Bradley combined for two innings, giving Bradley two days without any runs against him by the 49ers.

Marshall will finish the regular season on Saturday in the final game of the series against Charlotte. The Herd will celebrate the careers of catcher/infielder Sam Finfer, DH/outfielder Billy Sager, infielder Leo Valenti and first baseman Tommy Lane prior to the start of the game.

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