Herd baseball splits doubleheader, takes C-USA series over rival Hilltoppers


Sydney Shelton

Zach Inskeep (right) offers advice to Evan Hurn (left) between innings.

Marshall baseball earned its fourth Conference USA series win when it took two out of three games from rival Western Kentucky at the Kennedy Center Field.

“Obviously winning the series is what you want to do,” Marshall head baseball coach Jeff Waggoner said.

The Herd played the first of the games on Friday when it defeated Western Kentucky 8-2 and split a doubleheader on Saturday when it took the second game 11-7 and then dropped the rubber match 16-11.

Waggoner said that the Herd fell short in game three but that it was great game.

“We played hard. We just didn’t make the pitches and the plays like we needed to,” he said. “But it was a great game because we can bounce back and be ready to go on Tuesday.”

The Herd’s offense was strong throughout the three-game series, scoring 30 runs and hitting six home runs. Junior shortstop Elvis Peralta went 7-for-14, hitting three home runs and 5 RBI, while senior catcher Rey Pastrana, sophomore second baseman Geordon Blanton and senior right fielder Andrew Zban each hit one home run.

Despite the offensive showing, the Herd had a hard-fought game in the final game of the series and Waggoner said that his team is tough.

“They don’t care about being down,” he said. “If they get down, they will be able to come back and put us right back in the game.”

Waggoner said that there are some improvements that need to be made before the team moves on to Tuesday.

“I feel that overall, there is some depth and some guys that need to step up,” he said. “They can be a lot better than what they are on the mound. They just have to get their confidence and hopefully we will get them right back in the game on Tuesday and we will go out and pitch well.”

Waggoner said that the team just needs to keep doing what they are doing and that overall, they are playing well.

With the series win, Marshall advanced its record to 20-15 and 8-7 in Conference USA play, while Western Kentucky fell to 16-17-1 and 8-6-1 in conference play.

Following its midweek game Tuesday against nearby rival Ohio, the Herd hits the road for a three-game series at Louisiana Tech beginning Thursday.

Millard Stickler can be contacted at stickler16@ marshall.edu.