BECKLEY, W. Va. – A six-run bottom of the 4th served as plenty of offense for the Marshall Thundering Herd (7-10) to pull away from St. Bonaventure (5-7) in the first game of a three-game series Friday afternoon, 18-9.
Marshall got on the board first with a two-run 1st inning off Bona starter Cael Johnson. A lead-off triple and walk to the second-place batter both came around to score to give the Thundering Herd a 2-0 lead.
The Herd advantage was short-lived, however, as in the top of the 3rd sophomore first baseman Austin Ingraham sent an 0-1 pitch over the center field fence for a three-run home run to plate sophomore Jason Radwan and junior Michael Grieco. Catcher Grieco had opened the inning by singling through the left side, and second baseman Radwan followed shortly after with an infield single.
The back-and-forth affair continued in the bottom of the frame as the Herd responded with yet another pair of runs to go back in front, 4-3, after three innings.
Unfortunately for the Bonnies, that's as close as they would get the rest of the afternoon as Marshall exploded for six runs in the 4th to open up a 10-3 lead.
A five-run 5th extended the Herd lead to 15-3, but the Bonnies answered back with five runs over the next two innings to get the margin to 15-8 heading to the bottom of the 7th.
In the 5th, they plated two runs compliments of a Ryan Skellie RBI double to score Brad Steinbach and a single up the middle by Eric Jutca to bring Skellie around.
And then in the 6th, third baseman Billy Urban singled home Radwan before Steinbach drove a 2-2 delivery to center to plate Nick Brennen, who had reached via hit by pitch, and Urban.
From there, Marshall added two in the bottom of the frame and one more in the 8th before the Bonnies concluded the scoring in the 9th with a run.
Johnson left following just three innings in which he surrendered seven runs (six earned) on five hits and three walks. The right hander also hit two Herd batters.
Sophomore Robert Nalepa came in out of relief and didn't fare any better as he also gave up seven runs (all earned) in 1.2 innings of five-hit, two-walk work.
Redshirt junior Michael Pease was able to calm the Thundering Herd attack a bit as he entered in the 5th in relief of Nalepa. After surrendering a three-run homer to the first batter he faced, the Canandaigua, N.Y. native settled down and surrendered three runs over 2.1 innings. Senior Jamie Wallshlaeger pitched the 8th and gave up one run on one hit.
At the plate, Ingraham and Steinbach both pounded out three hits as Ingraham went 3-for-4 and Steinbach went 3-for-5. Ingraham drove in three while Steinbach increased his season RBI total to seven.
The two clubs meet again on Saturday evening at 6:15 as left hander Nick Brennen takes to the mound for the Bonnies looking to even the series.