Seven-Run Eighth Inning By Marshall Spells Defeat For Miami
April 3, 2005
OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami RedHawks (14-11, 3-2 MAC) held a 6-0 lead after four innings but couldn't hold on in the late innings as Marshall University (8-15, 3-2 MAC) put up seven runs in the eighth inning off of three different Miami pitchers and produced a come-from-behind, 10-9 victory at McKie Field in game one of a Mid-American Conference doubleheader.
Miami executed a perfect double steal with runners on first and third in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Ryne Robinson (Toledo, Ohio) came in to score on the back end of the play as the throw to second was not in time to retire senior John Slone (Cincinnati, Ohio).
The RedHawks put three more runs on the board in the bottom half of the second inning, managing just two hits but taking advantage of one Marshall error. Junior Geoff Orr (Orland Park, Ill.) reached on an error to lead off the inning and was followed by sophomore Brandon Hillier (Hinsdale, Ill.) who singled. After both runners advanced on a passed ball, senior Tyler Tabler (Cincinnati, Ohio) doubled to right centerfield, driving in both Orr and Hiller and making the score 4-0.
Two more runs in the bottom of the third gave the RedHawks a 6-0 lead. Senior Brian Canada (Fishers, Ind.) scored on Hillier's single to center and senior Paul Frietch (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored when Marshall's second baseman mishandled an infield fly off the bat of Tabler.
Marshall cut Miami's lead to 6-3 in the top of the fifth inning on four hits and one Miami error. The big blow of the inning was a two-run single to right off the bat of leftfielder Aaron Levinson.
Miami led off the bottom of the sixth inning and translated that into a run, taking a 7-3 lead. Tabler and junior shortstop Eric Radley (Hermitage, Tenn.) both singled before Robinson's single to left plated Tabler.
After the first two runners reached base for Marshall in the top of the eighth inning, Miami's starting pitcher, junior Graham Taylor (Villa Hills, Ky.), was replaced by senior Brad Bachman (Harrison, Ohio), who proceeded to walk the first batter he faced, loading the bases. The righthander hit the next batter, forcing in Marshall's fourth run, and was lifted in favor of freshman Connor Graham (Bowling Green, Ohio).
Roddy Steiger, the first batter Graham faced, laced a two-run single up the middle, bringing the Thundering Herd to within one run, at 7-6. After walking the next batter to load the bases, Graham surrendered a three-run triple to right center, giving Marshall its first lead of the game, 9-7. A suicide squeeze bunt with one out made it 10-7.
Slone singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth to start the comeback bid and scored when Canada doubled off the right centerfield wall, making the score 10-8. Pinch-hitter Will Reynolds (Brownsburg, Ind.) walked, bringing the winning run to the plate in the form of Brandon Hillier. Hiller chopped a ball off home plate and beat the throw to first base, which eluded Marshall's first baseman, allowing Canada to score from second, bringing the RedHawks within one run.
Senior Sam Sellery (Carmel, Ind.) came to the plate with a chance to win the game, but grounded out to third, ending the game.
Connor Graham was tagged with the loss, dropping his record to 2-3. Jeremy Slone picked up the win, the first of his career, going 5.1 innings and surrendering just one run.