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WVU defeats in-state rival Marshall in extra innings

WVU's Ray Guerrini (42) (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)
WVU’s Ray Guerrini (42)
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

CHARLESTON, W.Va.–The West Virginia University baseball team rallied in the eighth inning to tie the game and the Mountaineers defeated Marshall 5-4 in extra frames on Tuesday night at Appalachian Power Park.

Freshman Ivan Vera singled home the eventual game winner in the 10th inning, scoring Braden Zarbnisky from third.

“This is a great win for us,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “This is the first time we’ve beaten Marshall down here since I’ve been here. They play with so much confidence against us, trying to knock us off. It’s a big game for both teams. They’re just really hard to beat for us in this park. That’s a great win for three guys, Shaun Wood, Braden Zarbnisky and Ivan Vera, who weren’t in the starting lineup and had a major hand in the outcome, it says a lot about your bench, which is a good feeling for a coach.”

With two outs, Zarbnisky singled through the left side. Vera followed with a routine single to left but the Marshall outfielder bobbled the ball, allowing Zarbnisky to score from first base.

WVU (15-11) scored five runs on five hits. The Mountaineers had four miscues.

The Thundering Herd (15-12) had a no-hitter going through 5.2 innings.

Senior right-hander Blake Smith (2-0) got the win, pitching 2.1 innings of four hit baseball.

Starting pitcher Michael Grove pitched five innings, giving up one unearned run. The freshman right-hander gave up five hits and struck out two.

Marshall starter Joshua Shapiro tossed 5.2 innings of no-hit baseball. He gave up one run, coming after he was lifted in the sixth. Shapiro struck out nine and fanned six.

WVU head coach Randy Mazey watches on from the third base line. (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)
WVU head coach Randy Mazey watches on from the third base line.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

The Herd jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Corey Bird began the game with a single to right. He advanced to second on an error and went to third on DJ Gee’s sacrifice bunt. Bird scored on a wild pitch.

It would take WVU six innings before the Mountaineers plated a run.

Freshman right fielder Darius Hill led off the inning with a walk, his third of the day, and stole second. After going to its bullpen, Marshall ended its no-hit bid when junior catcher Ray Guerrini tripled off the centerfield fence to tie the game 1-1.

Marshall responded with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. Three straight singles loaded the bases with no outs before Guerrini’s pick off attempt went awry, allowing two runs to score.

Senior center fielder KC Huth led off the eighth inning with a double. Junior first baseman Jackson Cramer walked before Wood hit a two-out double down the right field line to tie the game 3-3.

The Mountaineers went ahead 4-3 when freshman pinch-hitter Kyle Gray reached on an error, scoring Wood.

The Herd responded in the bottom half of the inning when Tyler Ratliff’s single up the middle scored Aaron Bossi, who reached on an error.

Freshman shortstop spoiled Marshall’s chance to win the game in the ninth. With runners on the corners and one out Galusky made a diving catch before cleanly fielding a grounder for the final out of the inning.

WVU returns home on Wednesday to take on Eastern Michigan at 6:30 p.m. (ET) at Monongalia County Ballpark.


Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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