It marked the first time since 1998 Marshall had beaten the UK Wildcats; third time in the last decade; and 10th win all-time in 36 meetings with Kentucky. For the 'Cats, it marked the second time this week the "Big Blue" were upset by a team in green, as the number one-seeded UK basketball team lost to the kelly-clad UAB Blazers of Marshall's league for 2005-06, Conference USA, in the NCAA men's basketball tourney on Sunday, knocking the 'Cats out of the "Sweet 16" round.
"We got great pitching tonight by all of our guys," said Herd coach Dave Piepenbrink, who saw the Herd get out to the best non-conference start since his 2001 team got off to a 15-15 start that led to 24 wins in the season, tied for third-most by a team in MU history. "Scott Henning, (Steve) Ziroli and especially Adam Dobies had great stuff and this should boost our confidence going into MAC play this weekend at Eastern Michigan."
Henning (2-3), a senior from Wilmington, Delaware, started and pitched three innings of five-hit, one-run baseball with four strikeouts and the only two walks Marshall would issue in the contest. He was followed by freshman Adam Dobies, one of three MU pitchers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who had his best outing of the spring. Dobies he faced only one batter over the minimum in three innings, allowing one hit to ten batters and striking out three. Senior pitcher Steve Ziroli worked three ground ball outs in the seventh and Huntington sophomore Chris Cummings also set the UK team down 1-2-3 in the eighth. Closer Chris Meadows, a Huntington senior who is MU's all-time season (six in 2003) and career (11) saves leader, pitched the ninth in a non-save situation. He gave up a leadoff home run on a 1-2 count to UK pinch-hitter Andrew Levenson, but then struck out the side to close the Marshall win. MU pitching allowed nine hits, two walks and struck out 11 Wildcat batters.
On the offensive side, junior right fielder Joe Glevenyak raised his season average to .288 with the four-hit, two-doubles performance, his second big day in the last five (3-of-4 on Saturday against Cleveland State). His five RBI give him 10 for the season and make him the seventh MU hitter to have double-digit runs-batted-in. Senior left fielder Francois Larmore was 2-of-4, raising his average to .345 on the season, and sophomore catcher Rich Russell also was 2-for-4, with a double, and is now third on the team in batting average at a .320 average. Junior centerfielder Chris Monaco was 3-for-5, raising his average to .311 on the year. However, Monaco was picked off in the first and caught stealing in the ninth, leaving his MAC-leading stolen base total at 19 for the year.
Marshall travels Thursday afternoon to Eastern Michigan University for three games in the MAC opener for both teams (EMU had all three scheduled MAC games with Bowling Green cancelled due to weather last weekend). Marshall will throw Pittsburgh freshman Brian Chrisman (2-0, 3.32 ERA) Friday at 5:00 p.m.; Pittsburgh sophomore Chris Koutsavlis (1-2, 4.02 ERA) on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.; and Grayson, Kentucky, senior Grant Harper (3-2, 5.55 ERA) on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. With a win, Harper will pass Marshall Athletic and Kansas City Royals Halls of Fame member Jeff Montgomery (MU 1981-83) for third in career wins. The two are currently tied at third with 16 career wins at MU and 19 wins in a career is the all-time best at Marshall, set by Albie DeYoung from 1975-78.