The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

May 10, 2013

Marshall hosts ECU starting today at Epling Stadium

BECKLEY — Two weeks ago, well over 3,000 West Virginia University fans came to Beckley’s Linda K. Epling Stadium to see the Mountaineers sweep Kansas in an important Big 12 series.

Now, it’s Marshall fans’ turn to step to the plate.

The Thundering Herd will host East Carolina in a three-game set starting with today’s 3 p.m. first pitch. The game was originally set to start at 7 p.m. but was changed because of the threat of rain.

Marshall left-hander Wayland Moore (2-2, 3.77 earned run average) will start against the Pirates’ Jeff Hoffman (5-5. 3.06).

The second game of the series is tentatively set for 7 p.m. Saturday and the finale 1 p.m. Sunday.

Admission to each game at Epling Stadium is $5.

“We have played well in Beckley this season,” Marshall coach Jeff Waggoner said. “We’re happy to be there.”

Marshall (18-29, 5-13 C-USA) has been a frequent visitor to Beckley, but this will be the Herd’s first Conference USA series at the stadium that opened in 2010. With only a week remaining before the C-USA tournament, this is Marshall’s most important league weekend of the season.

The Herd leads UAB by a single game for eighth in the C-USA standings. Only eight of the nine league teams make it to the tournament, and with a trip to national power Rice looming next weekend, handling ECU would be huge.

“ECU has been hot,” Waggoner said. “In baseball, you look at the hottest teams. ECU has been on a roll.

“I don’t think you can say there is one thing they are doing well. They are playing good defense. Their offense is on fire. Their pitchers are throwing well. They took two of three from Southern Miss last weekend and Southern Miss had been playing well.”

ECU (26-22, 10-8 C-USA), which has won four straight weekend series, had been struggling offensively but has improved of late. The Pirates did not have a .300 hitter two weeks ago, but that has changed with infielder/designated hitter Drew Reynolds (.324) and third baseman Zach Houchins (.303) going over the mark.

The Pirates have the reigning C-USA Hitter of the Week in Chase McDonald. The junior first baseman/DH batted .500 (8-for-16) with two home runs, six runs batted in and five runs scored in four games last week, including the series victory over league-leading Southern Miss.

Reynolds, a 2012 finalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, is also the Pirates’ closer. He leads the conference with 12 saves in 15 opportunities.

Sophomore second baseman Andrew Dundon and senior center fielder Isaac Ballou have been Marshall’s top two hitters most of the season. Dundon is currently hitting .310, a point better than Ballou. Right fielder Gray Stafford, a former West Virginia Miner, has a team-high three home runs for the Herd, while left fielder Eric Escobedo has 25 RBIs.

Each team’s starters for the remainder of the series are to be determined. Marshall was scheduled to go with right-hander Aaron Blair (5-4, 2.36) Saturday, and would likely go with freshman Michael Taylor (3-5, 3.80) Sunday.

The Pirates would tentatively counter with David Lucroy (4-1, 2.01) and Ryan Williams (6-2, 4.02). Lucroy is the brother of Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Marshall’s eight seniors — Ballou, Alfredo Brito, Nathan Gomez, Matt Hummel, Matt Kirkwood, Terrence Moore, Wayland Moore, and Stafford — will be honored before Saturday’s game. It’s a group that has helped put Epling Stadium at the baseball forefront in southern West Virginia — the Herd is 14-12 at the venue.

Waggoner would like to see plenty of green in Epling Stadium seats this weekend.

“The fans have a chance to see some really good pitching,” Waggoner said. “Jeff Hoffman could be a top draft pick next year and Aaron Blair could be this year.”

— E-mail: gfauber@


Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 042014 old white Happy birthday to The Old White

    As Greenbrier owner Jim Justice proudly stood behind the podium on the first tee box addressing a crowd at the 100th anniversary of the historic Old White TPC Course, a surprise guest emerged from the bushes by the tennis center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 bubba Watson becoming a West Virginian

    Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was glued to the television a week ago today, watching Bubba Watson try to chase down his second green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 spartans LOCAL ROUNDUP: Spartans win Spring Break Wooden Bat Classic

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • St. Joe’s Lewis named 2014 High School Coach of the Year

    Huntington St. Joseph girls basketball coach Shannon Lewis has made a habit of celebrating success in Charleston over the last few years.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014