Eight-run ninth inning caps off WKU’s second sweep of Marshall

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Sophomore Jackson Swiney (6) celebrating a run scored against the Cincinnati Bearcats on Feb. 26, 2021. 

Wyatt Sparkman, Baseball beat reporter

WKU (23-21), (13-11, C-USA) finished its eight-game road stretch against Marshall (8-28), (4-20, C-USA) on Sunday afternoon. WKU won 10-6 in a comeback victory to earn its second sweep of the season against the Herd.  

WKU sophomore pinch hitter Jackson Swiney went 1-for-1 with a grand slam that gave WKU the lead in the top of the ninth inning.   

Marshall sophomore Travis Sankovich went 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs including giving Marshall the lead in the bottom of the third inning.  

Freshman Luke Stofel got the start on the bump for WKU. He pitched for five innings allowing four runs on six hits with one strikeout. 

Freshman Zac Addkison got the series finale start for Marshall. He tossed 4.2 innings while allowing one run on two hits with one strikeout.  

Both teams had nothing to show for in the first inning. Both pitchers threw a combined 11 pitches. 

Marshall freshman Ryan Leitch reached on an error by sophomore Matthew Meyer in the bottom of the second frame. After a walk, senior Zach Inskeep singled and Leitch tried to score from second base but was thrown out at home plate by redshirt freshman Ty Crittenberger. The runners were left stranded after a fly out. 

Senior Matt Phipps and Crittenberger walked to lead off the top of the third frame. Senior Ray Zuberer III singled to load the bases. Then junior Justin Carlin grounded into a double play that allowed Phipps to score the first run of the game and give WKu a 1-0 lead. Crittenberger was left stranded after a fly out.

In the bottom of the third inning, freshman Devin Ward doubled then advanced to third base on a wild pitch. After a hit-by-pitch, sophomore Luke Edwards tied the game at 1-1 on an RBI single. 

Stofel then loaded the bases on a walk before Sankovich gave Marshall a 3-1 lead on a two-RBI single. Stofel got out of the inning with a ground out. 

WKU did not retaliate in the top of the fourth inning, going three up and three down. Marshall followed WKU by going three up and three down in the bottom of the inning as well.

Marshall made a pitching change in the top of the fifth frame after Addkison loaded the bases with walks. Senior Josh Zeboskey relieved Addkison with two outs. Zeboskey forced sophomore Jackson Gray to ground out, preventing WKU from scoring. Marshall went three up and three down in the bottom of the fifth frame. 

WKU had nothing to show in the top of the sixth inning. Leitch led-off the bottom of the sixth with a single then scored on a Sankovich RBI triple to extend Marshall’s lead to 4-1. 

Redshirt sophomore Aaron Shiflet relieved Stofel with no outs and Sankovich at third base. Sankovich was left stranded after Shiflet forced two consecutive ground outs and a fly out.

Crittenberger led off the top of the seventh inning with a double. Senior lefty Nick Adkins then relieved Zeboskey for Marshall. Adkins struck out the first batter he faced, then Crittenberger advanced to third base on a ground out. Crittenberger scored to cut the Marshall lead to 4-2 on a fielding error by Ward. 

Ward singled to lead-off the bottom of the seventh frame. Edwards then extended the lead to 6-2 on a two-run homerun. Shiflet got out of the inning with a strikeout. 

In the top of the eighth inning, Phipps singled with two outs followed by a walk to put WKU runners on first and second base. Zuberer lined out to leave both runners stranded. 

Redshirt sophomore Mason Vinyard relieved Shiflet to begin the bottom of the eighth inning. Marshall went three up and three down. 

Marshall walked the first three WKU batters in the top of the ninth to load the bases. After a line out, senior Kevin Lambert walked to cut the lead to 6-3. Jackson Swiney followed with a grand slam to give WKU a 7-6 lead. 

Phipps then hit his first homerun of the season on a solo shot to extend the WKU lead to 8-6. Senior Michael Guerrero then came in as pitcher for Marshall. WKU loaded the bases again with a double, hit by pitch, and single. WKU tacked on two more runs with a bases loaded walk and a Meyer RBI single to make the score 10-6. 

Marshall went three up and three down in the bottom of the ninth to end the game. Vinyard picked up his fifth win of the season.        

WKU will head back to Bowling Green to play its last home series of the season against the Florida Atlantic Owls on May 7-9.

Baseball beat reporter Wyatt Sparkman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Wyatt on Twitter at @WyattSparkman3.