The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

April 30, 2013

Stafford leads Herd to win

Former Miner has big game back at Epling Stadium

BECKLEY — Judging by the crowd gathered around Gray Stafford following Marshall University’s 4-1 victory over Morehead State, there were plenty of people happy to see him return to Linda K. Epling Stadium.

Judging by his performance, Stafford was even happier to be there.

“It’s awesome to come back to Beckley,” said Stafford, who helped lead the West Virginai Miners to a Prospect League championship last summer. “I love playing here. I’m really comfortable in this stadium.”

His comfort level showed.

Marshall scored three runs in the bottom of the third, including an RBI triple by Stafford to go up 3-0 on Morehead.

Two innings later, Stafford hit a deep home run over the left field wall to give the Herd an insurance run and a 4-0 lead.

“I just tried to clear my head and trust the work I put in this week,” Stafford said. “When I step into the box, I just stay clear, and whatever happens, happens.”

Stafford wasn’t just making plays with his bat.

Morehead State’s Alan Mocahbee hit a blooper to shallow right-center field. Stafford gave chase to it before laying out and diving for the save in a play Ken Griffey Jr. would be proud to witness.

“I didn’t think I had a shot to catch it,” Stafford said with a laugh. “I was acting like I was going to catch it. I realized I could take a couple more hard steps and lay out. I saw him hit it and thought there’s no way it stays down, but I stayed with it and caught it.”

The comfort level of playing at Epling Stadium even made Marshall skipper Jeff Waggoner smile.

“Gray (Stafford) had a good game. He played good defense,” Waggoner said.

“Something about this ballpark he loves to play in. Hopefully it gets him on a roll.”

Stafford isn’t the only one who loves playing in Epling Stadium.

The Herd have rattled off three straight victories in their home away from home.

“We love playing here,” Waggoner said. “The Epling family treats us really good, and we enjoy the ballpark. These guys look forward to coming here and playing.”

Marshall will play their next four on the road, including a series against Conference USA rival Memphis before returning to Beckley on May 10 for a three-game series with East Carolina. The Herd will then wrap up their series with West Virginia University on May 14 at Epling.

“No question about it. We’ve got two really good opponents our next games here,” Waggoner said. “Our guys like playing here and we’ve been playing well. Hopefully we can continue it against East Carolina and WVU.”

— E-mail: jrollins and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.

Marshall 4, Morehead State 1

MS:    000    000    100    —    1 8 3

M:    003    010    00x    —    4 7 0

MS: Tyler Keele, Dan Hyatt, Morgan Cirbo and Drew Williams, M: Chase Boster, Kyle Kessler, Kolin Stanley, Matt Margaritonda and David Diaz-Fernandez. WP — Boster. LP — Keele. Hitting — MS: Kane Sweeney 3-3, Brandon Rawe 3-4, Bobby Burns 1-4, Taylor Sears 1-2., M: Andrew Dundon 2-3 (R), Gray Stafford 2-4 (2 RBI, 3B, HR), Isaac Ballou 1-3 (RBI), Aaron Bossi 1-4.

Records: Marshall (17-26), Morehead State (15-31)

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 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

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo