Daniel McFarland launched his career best fifth home run as the Eastern Kentucky University baseball team earned its first road win of the season with a 6-3 victory over the Marshall University Thundering Herd on Tuesday.
Going into the fifth inning tied 0-0, the Colonels (14-12, 1-5 OVC) looked to finally get on the board. Alex Holderbach singled to start the inning, and Nick Howie followed him with a single to advance him to third. Holderbach stole home after a Ryland Kerr strikeout to give EKU a 1-0 lead. During the next at-bat Daniel McFarland homered to right field, bringing Howie home and giving Eastern a 3-0 lead.
Marshall used a three-run inning of its own to tie the game 3-3 after five full. From there, EKU took control.
Ben Fisher led the sixth inning off with a single, followed by Shea Sullivan reaching base on a throwing error. Holderbach picked up his second single of the day on the next at-bat, loading the bases. Howie, coming into the game with the second most walks in the OVC, drew a bases loaded walk to score Fisher, giving the lead back to Eastern, 4-3. In the next at-bat Kerr singled through the right side to bring Sullivan home, but kept the bases loaded. McFarland came to the plate and was hit by a pitch, bringing Holderbach home to give EKU a 6-3 lead. Marshall would not score again.
McFarland finished with two hits and three RBIs. Fisher went 2-for-5 with a run scored, and extended his hit streak to 19 games. Holderbach went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Sullivan and Kerr also picked up two hits each.
“Getting the first road win of the season is huge for our guys. Collins gave us another great start, McFarland’s homer was huge, and Fisher had some clutch at bats,” said EKU Head Coach Edwin Thompson. “It was fantastic to have Nick Cumpston out there after battling injuries all season. He gave us a solid inning to kick start the huge effort from our bull pen.”
Bryan Qulliens (2-2) picked up the win after relieving starter Casey Collins, who went 4.2 innings. Collins notched his third straight start with at least five strike outs. Cumpston, Brian Mroz and Brandon Smither all had scoreless one-inning performances on the mound. Caleb Johnson earned his fourth save of the season.
The Colonels return to Richmond for an OVC series with the University of Tennessee-Martin. First pitch for the series opener is set for a 6 p.m. start on Friday.
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EKUSports Communications Intern