Herd baseball wins season opener
Marshall tops Morehead State 3-1
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall baseball used dominant pitching capped by 13 strikeouts to defeat Morehead State, 3-1, Friday afternoon at the Kennedy Center.
The Herd begins the season 1-0 and Morehead State drops to 2-6.
“It starts with pitching, it always has with this game,” head coach Jeff Waggoner said. “Ray (Pacella) has been throwing really well, he earned the number one spot in the rotation and he set the tone today. Everyone who came in the game today from the bullpen, came in and pounded the zone.”
Junior Raymond Pacella earned his first career start for the Thundering Herd in the season opener and pitched brilliant. He threw 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out seven. He issued one walk and one hit by pitch. He earned no decision on the mound.
“I felt fine, I threw strikes and gave my defense a chance and they did their job,” Pacella said.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning, when junior Geordon Blanton, standing at third base, scored the contest’s opening run via a Morehead State pitcher balk. The two-out run gave Marshall a 1-0 lead.
Morehead State struck right back with a two-out solo home run in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 1.
The Thundering Herd had an answer in the bottom half of the inning, loading the bases after Cyrus Grimes led off with a walk, followed by a Jordon Billups single and Luke Edwards walk. With one out, Blanton drew his first RBI of the season with a bases-loaded walk to give Marshall a 2-1 lead.
Junior Peter Hutzal followed with an RBI sac fly, scoring Billups to give the Herd the 3-1 lead.
The Thundering Herd bullpen pitched 4.0 innings, striking out six Eagles and issuing just one walk. Junior Jeffrey Purnell (1-0) earned the win on the mound in relief, pitching 2.0 innings while striking out three, allowing one run on one hit.
Josh Zeboskey, Nick Adkins and Nick Jodway each pitched 0.1 inning apiece, all three striking out the lone batter they faced.
Senior D’Andre Knight earned the save on the mound, pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
The Thundering Herd and Eagles play game two of three Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Morehead, Kentucky. The squads return to Huntington to complete the series Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Field.
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