Herd baseball takes two over Rattlers, wins series

Marshall baseball opened the 2018 season in Tallahassee, Florida this past weekend by taking two games from a three-game set with the Florida A&M University Rattlers.

The Herd started with a 17-5 win on Friday, blasting four home runs on 18 hits to improve to 1-0 on the year. Marshall scored seven runs through the first three innings, before FAMU answered with a pair of its own in the bottom of the third.

Marshall had an 11-3 advantage heading into the eighth inning, scoring its final six runs in that frame on just four hits.

The scoring began with a two-run single to left field by red shirt senior left fielder Tucker Linder. Then, junior center fielder Erik Rodriguez walked with the bases loaded to add another. Junior right fielder Andrew Zban then hit a two-run double. Finally, junior third baseman Raul Cabrera, making his Marshall debut, singled to drive in the Herd’s 17th run of the day.

Florida A&M got two runs back in the bottom of the eighth, but sophomore right-handed pitcher Mark Meyer was credited with the win for the Herd after throwing four innings in relief of starting pitcher Wade Martin. Martin, a junior right-hander, also went four innings, giving up four hits and two runs. Freshman right-handed pitcher Phillip Hoffman pitched the final frame of the game for the Herd. He struck out two batters and walked one, as he forced the final three outs of the game.

In game two, Florida A&M bounced back and defeated the Herd 8-1 to even the weekend series.

In the fifth inning, Marshall redshirt junior Shane Hanon hit a leadoff single and advanced to second on a subsequent Cabrera single. After junior catcher Reynaldo Pastrana walked to load the bases, senior designated hitter Dakota Robbins brought in a run on a sacrifice fly to left field.

Marshall got eight hits in the contest, but left 14 men on base.

In the Sunday rubber match, Marshall clinched the series win with a 9-0 shutout. The Herd gave up three hits to the Rattlers, as it moved to 2-1 for the season.

Florida A&M got two of its three total hits in the second inning, when senior left fielder Garrett Wilkinson and senior shortstop John Capra hit back-to-back singles to start the inning.

Junior left-handed pitcher Joshua Shapiro earned the win for Marshall. He went one-third of an inning in the fifth, facing three batters and escaping a bases-loaded jam. Florida A&M senior Dallas Oliver was the losing pitcher, allowing eight hits and three earned runs in five innings pitched.

Marshall returns to the field Friday to begin a three-game series at Elon.

Luke Creasy can be contacted at [email protected].