Central Michigan Drops Herd In Game One 4-3

Marshall fell to 1-12 against left-handed starting pitching on Friday when the Herd dropped game one of a three-game weekend with Central Michigan. Marshall lost 7-4, but five errors accounted for two of the Chippewas runs and a balk accounted for another run for CMU, who improved to 22-20 on the year, 8-5 in the MAC West Division. MU fell to 19-23, 3-9 in the MAC and fell further into the cellar of the East Division. MU must go 9-4 in the last 13 games of the year to post a winning record.

The Chips got a gift from Marshall in both the first and second innings. With one out in the third, CMU rightfielder J.T. Jones reached on an error by Marshall third baseman Adam Frederick. With two outs and two on, senior shortstop for the Herd, Mike Koitsopoulos, threw away an easy third out to allow Jones to give Central Michigan a 1-0 lead. Koitsopoulos and Frederick each had two errors in the game.

In the second, CMU got going again on a infield hit by Jeff LaFavors. Brian Campbell laid down a sac bunt, but Frederick threw the ball away again to move LaFavors to third. A balk by Marshall starter Brian Chrisman, who would fall to 3-2 on the year, brought in a second run for CMU and a single by Chippewas shortstop Chase Welker made it 3-0 with only one run earned.

Central stretched the lead to 4-0 before MU finally answered. First baseman Corie O'Bryan was hit by a pick in the bottom of the fourth with two outs. Catcher Rich Russell followed with his team-leading 12th double of the season and DH Francois Larmore drove in O'Bryan from third with an infield hit to collect his 33rd RBI of the year, second on the team. Central immediately answered with a two-run homer by leftfielder Brian Mitzel in the top of the fifth and then MU came right back at them in the bottom of the fifth with one-out walks by leftfielder Brad Helm and Koitsopoulos. Centerfielder Chris Monaco, who had a good day at the plate in a tough loss for the Herd with a 3-for-5 batting afternoon, knocked in a run and O'Bryan picked up the third run of the game with a sac fly.

Marshall would get as close as 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh when rightfielder Joe Glevenyak reached on an error, the second on CMU, and scored when Monaco picked up his 16th RBI of the year, and second of the day, with a double to centerfield. Central added the final run of the day in the top of the seventh when Lafavors doubled, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Welker's sac fly to right field.

T.J. Johnson threw 153 pitches in seven and two-thirds innings of work, allowing four hits, three earned runs, striking out four and walking four. David LeMieux came on in the eighth inning and allowed only one hit in an inning and one-third to collect his sixth save of the year, whioh leads the MAC. Chrisman took the loss despite seven strikeouts, which makes him fifth in the MAC in that category with 58 total. Scott Henning pitched two scoreless innings in relief for Marshall, giving up one hit and striking out three of six batters faced in the eighth and ninth.

Game two is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, at University Heights. The game will be live on radio station WRVC 930 AM, with Robert Harper on the play-by-play and Woody Woodrum doing color. The two teams wrap the series up on Sunday, also at 1:00 p.m., and that game will be heard on Marshall's student station, WMUL 88.1 FM and is available as well on the WMUL website (see www.marshall.edu/wmul).

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