Roster Battle

A depleted West Virginia roster couldn't muster enough offense in the series finale against Marshall and dropped a 6-5 decision to the Thundering Herd on Tuesday.

West Virginia missed multiple chances to put more than the five runs it scored on the board, especially in the middle innings. In each of the middle four frames, the Mountaineers put a runner in scoring position, but only managed to bring Ryan McBroom home in the seventh on Chris Rasky's double, which gave WVU a temporary 5-3 lead.

In all, the Mountaineers left eight men on base, and combined with some baserunning errors eliminated any change they had of securing a win. The loss also pretty much kills any chance WVU has of securing an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, as Marshall's sub-200 RPI mark will hurt WVU's overall rating.

After the teams exchanged runs in the first inning, West Virginia put up three in the third, keyed by the bottom of the order. Chris Rasky singled, Michael Constantini walked, and Max Nogay reached on a fielders choice to load the bases. Kevin Cohen was hit by a pitch to drive in a run, and back at the top of the order Billy Fleming just missed a grand slam when he drove a ball off the left field wall to score Rasky and Constantini. However, another baserunning blunder, this one by Cohen, resulted in the centerfielder being thrown out at third.

Marshall rallied with single runs in the third and fifth, then scored three of its own in the seventh to take the lead.

WVU starter Brock Dykxhoorn went five innings, yielding three earned runs on seven hits, including three doubles. He did throw 51 strikes on his 72 pitchers, and did not walk a batter. Mountaineer reliever Josh Harlow took the loss, allowing three runs in just 1 2/3 innings of work.

Fleming and Rasky each had two hits for WVU, with the former recording two RBI.

Marshall used the same lineup it did in its conference loss to East Carolina on Sunday, and even used weekend starting pitchers and number one closer Josh King in relief.

In preparation for the quick travel turnaround, West Virginia did not bring starters Brady Wilson, Jacob Rice and Bobby Boyd to the game. Alan Filauro traveled but did not play, and Ryan Tuntland only manned the DH spot. Taylor Munden sat for most of the game before pinch hitting in the eighth. The Mountaineers also did not travel its weekend starting pitchers, which is not out of the ordinary for a midweek game.

WVU was scheduled to return to Morgantown following the game, and expected to arrive after midnight. The home stay will be of the shortest variety, as the team bus departs the University city at 4:00 a.m. for Pittsburgh and a flight to Oklahoma for the regular-season ending series against Oklahoma State.

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