Baseball Hosts USM at Power Park

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall baseball will welcome the Southern Miss Golden Eagles for a three-game Conference USA series beginning Friday at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall baseball will welcome the Southern Miss Golden Eagles for a three-game Conference USA series beginning Friday at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va.

April 26, 2012

Herd Faces Golden Eagles in C-USA Weekend Series Three-game series will go Friday through Sunday pending weather

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall baseball will welcome the Southern Miss Golden Eagles for a three-game Conference USA series beginning Friday at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va.

The weekend's current schedule has games one and two slated for Friday and Saturday at 2:05 p.m. while Sunday's finale will begin at 10:05 a.m. All times are subject to change. Continue to visit HerdZone.com or check out Marshall on Twitter at @Herd_Zone for information on weather–related schedule changes.

Probable Starters:

Game One: Aaron Blair (1-6, 4.45) vs. Andrew Pierce (5-2, 1.77)

Game Two: Mike Mason (3-5, 3.45) vs. Jake Drehoff (6-1, 3.31)

Game Three: Lance Elder (1-3, 5.46) vs. Mason Robbins (0-0, 3.52)

Marshall (14-26, 2-10 C-USA) is 7-17 in the all-time series with Southern Miss and was swept in the three-game set in Hattiesburg, Miss. a year ago. Prior to that, the Thundering Herd defeated USM twice in postseason action in 2008 before winning the series against the Golden Eagles for the first time in 2010.

Isaac Ballou is the Herd's current hitting leader (.303) and ranks as the conference frontrunner in stolen bases (18). The junior centerfielder has four triples this season, which is tied for the C-USA lead, and his on-base percentage of .443 is good enough for eighth place in the league.

Sergio Leon is also batting .303 on the year and is one of a few Herd freshmen having a successful first season. Leon has started 28 games this year despite missing several weeks due to injury. The second baseman turned shortstop has 33 hits, 13 RBIs, and five stolen bases.

Southern Miss (23-17, 7-5 C-USA) brings one of the league's top hitters along with one of the top pitchers to Appalachian Power Park this weekend. Mason Robbins, an outfielder/ pitcher, has stood out in his freshman season with the ninth-best batting average among C-USA hitters (.349). He is one of four Golden Eagles currently batting over the .300 mark.

Andrew Pierce ranks second in the conference in earned run average (1.77) and boasts a third-best strikeout total (72) among league pitchers. Pierce's streak of 23 1/3 scoreless innings was broken up in his last start against Memphis.

Aaron Blair and Mike Mason follow closely behind USM's Pierce as the strikeout leaders in C-USA. Blair, who registered his 61st strikeout of the season in the series opener against Houston, ranks 5th in the conference while Mason's 47 Ks have him tied for eighth. Pierce has rung up 72 hitters this season which is only eight off the lead.

Southern Miss has posted series victories over Houston (2-1) and Memphis (3-0) this season while losing to both Rice (2-1) and UCF (2-1). The Golden Eagles are in fourth place in Conference USA standings, 3 ½ games off of UCF in the lead.

All three games can be followed on Twitter through @Herd_Zone or @MU_Baseball. Additionally, live stream through CBS All-Access will be available along with links to CBS Gametracker.

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