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Lane hits walk-off home run, Herd defeats Eagles, 6-5

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Marshall University’s baseball team takes the field after a game earleir this season at the Kennedy Center Field.

Marshall University’s baseball team takes the field after a game earleir this season at the Kennedy Center Field.

Ryan Fischer

Ryan Fischer

Marshall University’s baseball team takes the field after a game earleir this season at the Kennedy Center Field.

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Junior Tommy Lane hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning to defeat Morehead State University, 6-5, Tuesday at the Kennedy Center Field.

With the win, Marshall improved to 9-6 and extends its win streak to five games. Morehead State falls to 12-4, snapping a six-game win streak.

The Herd holds Conference USA’s longest win streak. Marshall has won eight out of its last nine games.

Marshall struck first in the bottom of the first.

Junior Corey Bird led off the inning with a single to center field. After being moved over on a sac-bunt and a wild pitch, Bird scored on a heads up base running play by crossing home plate after a dropped strikeout by Morehead State.

In the fourth inning, Morehead State tied the game at one with a single to center field by Braxton Morris.

The Herd went on to break the tie in the sixth inning by putting two runs across.

Freshman Andrew Zban connected with a single to center field that scored Tyler Ratliff and Lane.

Morehead State responded in the following inning with its own big inning, as it scored three runs on four hits.

Trailing by one in the bottom of the seventh, Marshall found a way to flip the score once again to give itself a one-run lead.

With runners on first and second, Lane singled to right field for an RBI. Two batters later, Sam Finfer singled to right field to drive in Aaron Bossi.

Morehead State rallied to tie the game at five with a single to center field in the top of the ninth inning.

In extra innings, strong pitching performances by freshmen Shane Downey and Wade Martin powered Marshall.

Martin made his first collegiate appearance and went two innings with three strikeouts and allowed one hit. Downey went one inning with two strikeouts and no hits allowed.

Lane led off the 12th inning for the Herd and hit a deep high fly ball to left center field that cleared the fence for the walk-off win. The home run was Lane’s sixth of the season and his 19th RBI of the year.

“I told the guys before the inning started that a lot of them were going up to the plate trying to hit a home run and getting out by not taking enough swings,” Marshall head coach Jeff Waggoner said in a news release. “But Tommy went up there and stayed through the middle of the field and got the pitch he needed to win us the game.”

Marshall had seven pitchers throw the 12 inning game.

Starting pitcher Joshua Shapiro picked up the no decision with 4.1 innings pitched with two strikeouts. Heston Van Fleet and Burris Warner each went two innings. Sam Hunter and Ratliff combined for two-thirds of an inning pitched.

Marshall opens up conference play against the University of Southern Mississippi 6 p.m. Friday at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, West Virginia for a three-game series.

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