Huntington, W.Va. – Matthew Koehler belted three home runs and accounted for a career-high six RBI on Wednesday afternoon, but three unanswered runs between the seventh and eighth innings allowed the Marshall Thundering Herd to rally past Western Carolina, 10-9, in nonconference action at the Kennedy Center YMCA Baseball Field.
Koehler gave WCU an early 1-0 lead on a first-inning solo homer with his three-run shot in the sixth inning tying the game at six. In the top of the sixth inning, his two-run blast to straight-away center field gave the Catamounts a 9-7 lead, but Marshall tallied a pair to tie the game in the home half of the seventh. Marshall pushed across the eventual game-winning run from third base as WCU attempted a would-be, inning-ending double-play in the eighth inning before working around a Catamount base runner at first in the ninth, picking up its third-straight series win over WCU.
Koehler, who over the past two meetings with Marshall the last two seasons five base hits – all home runs – and 10 RBI, finished 3-for-4 with a walk to pace the Catamounts. He extended his reached base safely streak to 21-consecutive. Including the three-game series in Cullowhee in 2017, Koehler has six home runs and a combined 17 RBI – seven in 2017, four in 2018, and six on Wednesday -- in the last five games against the Thundering Herd.
Sophomore Immanuel Wilder belted his third home run of the season in the fourth inning, pushing WCU head 7-6 at the time. His classmate Justice Bigbie collected a pair of singles in a 2-for-4, one walk effort, adding to his team lead in RBI with one. Bigbie lengthened his reached base safely streak to 17 while Wilder has now reached safely in eight straight.
Daylan Nanny returned to the WCU lineup, reaching on a
Reliever Joe Vranesic (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing one unearned run in the eighth inning that proved to be the difference in the game. He struck out two over an inning and two-thirds of relief, while Jack Snyder also tossed 1.2 innings with a pair of walks and two Ks with two earned runs scoring after he left the game. Blake Therrian struck out two in tossing a season-long 3.2 innings in relief of starter Ryan Mitschele, who was lifted after the first inning.
Marshall reliever D’Andre Knight (2-2) picked up the victory out of the bullpen, tossing 1.2 innings of hitless, scoreless relief with a walk and a strikeout. Michael Guerrero tallied his fourth save of the year, striking out one in the ninth inning
Offensively for the Thundering Herd, Erik Rodriguez and Elvis
Western Carolina (12-13) returns home to open a four-game homestand beginning on Friday evening by hosting the Wofford Terriers (19-12, 2-1 SoCon) in the first of a three-game