Lane, strong pitching give Herd third straight series win


Ryan Fischer

Marshall baseball freshman outfielder Andrew Zban swings at a pitch in a game earlier this season.

Marshall University baseball won its weekend series Sunday over the University of Texas at San Antonio two games to one with a 5-2 victory in the series’ rubber match.

The Herd (17-13, 7-5) won the first game of the series, 8-3, Friday before dropping the second, 5-4, Saturday.

In its game one victory, the Herd was bolstered by the continued excellence of first baseman Tommy Lane. Lane went 2-5 at the plate including a two-run home run in the third inning as he totaled four RBIs for the game.

Lane’s third inning homer gave the Herd a quick 4-0 lead with the team having already scored two runs in the second after Aaron Bossi connected for a triple before being batted in by Cory Garrastazu. Garrastazu crossed home plate two batters later when catcher Sam Finfer singled up the middle.

Marshall took a 4-1 lead into the eighth where UTSA picked up another run to cut the lead to two heading into the final stanza.

The Herd exploded in the top of the ninth for four runs. However, it was giftwrapped opportunities by UTSA after the Roadrunner pitching staff combined for a balk, two walks, a wild pitch and a hit batter in the inning. Lane added two more RBIs as well with a single up the middle.

Chase Boster collected his second win of the season, pitching seven innings and allowing just five hits and one earned run to go with seven strikeouts. Burris Warner collected his eighth save of the year as well pitching the final two innings.

In the series-deciding game Sunday, the Herd pitching staff combined for a solid effort with starter JD Hammer going six innings, conceding five hits and just one earned run while collecting five strikeouts. Despite the effort, Hammer earned a no decision and Warner picked up his first win of the season with his work in the last three innings, where he gave up three hits and an earned run.

The strong performance by Hammer escalated a pitcher’s duel for the bulk of the first seven innings with the game tied 1-1 with heading into the final two innings.

Offensively, the Herd amassed seven hits for the game’s entirety, but no single player had more than one. The bats finally came alive in a four-run eighth inning for the Herd.

Bossi and Lane reached base on a pair of singles and Ryne Dean was walked to load the bases. Tyler Ratliff provided the breakthrough hit with a double to left field that scored both Bossi and Lane. Finfer the scored Dean with a single, and Garrastazu led Ratliff home in the next at bat with a groundout RBI.

With a 5-1 lead, Warner gave one back in the bottom half of the inning before warding off the threat and going unscathed in the ninth to secure the team’s third straight series win.

The Herd will be back in action 6 p.m. Friday for a three-game series with Florida Atlantic University that will span the course of the weekend.