MU Opens Baseball Home Slate With DH Win

Marshall Baseball finally opened the home portion of the schedule, having endured cancellations of series with Canisius on March 5-6 and moving scheduled home games with Liberty and Dayton from the wet field at University Heights in Huntington to the homes of the Flames, going 0-3, and the Flyers, losing on Wednesday in Dayton. The Herd doubled its win total on the season by sweeping Atlantic Ten member St. Bonaventure, taking game one 4-1 and the nightcap 11-3, as the Herd bats came alive.

Not only did Marshall out-hit (23 to 14, in two games) the Bonnies, who came into the weekend with only one loss in seven games, but Marshall got back-to-back complete games from junior Chris Koutsavlis and true freshman David Slovak, who picked up his first win in a Marshall uniform. Marshall had only one complete game last season and it had been two years since the Herd had even had complete games in the same series (with Koutsavlis beating Buffalo in seven innings and Grant Harper losing to the Bulls in 10 in 2003).

Koutsavlis pitched a career-high nine innings in game one, allowing eight hits and one run, which was unearned and bizarre, to say the least. In the first inning, the Bonnies led off with a hit by left fielder by Ban Bratys, who tried to score one out later on a double by right fielder Brian Pellegrini. Bratys was thrown out by MU right fielder Joe Glevenyak, who hit cutoff man Aaron Jamieson, the Herd's second baseman, who threw a strike to Marshall catcher Nick Wolle. Wolle made the tag, then appeared to roll the ball out towards the pitchers mound as if there were three outs, not two. Pellegrini, who went to third on the out at the plate, headed home with no one at the mound, Koutsavlis rushed to get the ball, turned to throw as Pellegrini fell about 10-feet short of the plate, but Koutsavlis, who appeared amazed by the tumble, threw away the chance to nail the runner and Pellegrini picked himself up and scored what would be the Bonnies only run.

Marshall got a single run in the third to tie the game, when centerfielder Adam Ptacek was hit, stole second and scored on Glevenyak's hit. Glevenyak would drive in the go-ahead run in the seventh when Herd third baseman Adam Frederick led off with a double, moved to third on Jamieson's bunt single and scored on Glevenyak's second run-batted-in. First baseman Roddy Stieger and pinch-hiter Aaron Levinson both added RBI singles to set the final margin. Koutsavlis picked up his second career complete game at MU and evened his 2005 record at 1-1 with five strike outs and only one walk in nine innings.

Slovak was stong in a seven innning complete game in game two, allowing six hits, three runs, two earned runs and striking out a career-best seven in the game. In picking up his first career MU win against three losses on the year, Slovak got all the offense he would need in the third inning when Marshall rode two two-run home runs by Glevenyak and Stieger to a seven run inning in the Herd's 11-3 win. Marshall improved with the sweep to 4-11 on the year, while St. Bonaventure fell to 6-3 on the season.

Glevenyak scored two runs on a 3-for-5 day, including a home run, four RBI, two walks, was hit by a pitch, stole one base and had an assist on the out at the plate. Frederick came out of an early-season slump with a 4-for-7 day, scoring three runs, picking up one RBI and a double. Steiger was 3-of-7 with a homer and Levinson was 3-of-4, starting the second game, and had three stolen bases. Freshman Tommy Johnson was the designated hitter in game two and was 2-of-4 with a double and two RBI.

Marshall and St. Bonaventure will wrap-up the three game series Sunday at University Heights, located behind the new Wal-Mart Super Center on Route 60 East. The nine inning game will start at Noon. Marshall will spend Spring Break in the Carolinas, as the Herd travels Monday to Durham, N.C., to play Duke University of the ACC on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Herd will return home to open a final season in the Mid-American Conference when Marshall hosts Eastern Michigan next Friday (3 p.m.), Saturday and Sunday (both days at 1 p.m.).

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