Baseball salvages one game in weekend series at Marshall


Photo courtesy of @OaklandBSB on Twitter

Ian Cleary hit a total of four home runs in Oakland’s weekend series against Marshall.

The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies baseball team lost a four-game series to the Marshall University Herd on March 3-5 at the Kennedy Center in Huntington, West Virginia.

The Golden Grizzlies, who were looking to rebound after getting swept 3-0 by New Mexico State, found themselves opposite the 6-3 Herd, who played in their second series of the season. 

In game one, the Golden Grizzlies and Herd remained scoreless until the sixth inning, where senior infielder Michael Stygles scored for Oakland after a single by sophomore catcher Brandon Heidal. Marshall struggled with errors throughout game 1, but Oakland was unable to put the game away after the Herd scored on a wild pitch and a single in the eighth inning, and would pull the win out from Oakland 2-1.

Game two was rough for Oakland, being held scoreless for the game by pitcher Jeffrey Purnell, who allowed one hit in seven innings to go with 10 strikeouts. Sophomore pitcher Brandon Decker was pulled in the second inning after two earned runs, but Oakland couldn’t figure out how to stop Marshall from getting on base. Oakland allowed 13 hits throughout the game and were shut out 7-0 to go up in the series 2-0.

Game three was on the first end of a double header, and saw Oakland fire back at the talented Marshall team. The first inning had the Herd up 3-1 on the Golden Grizzlies. From here, it became a high scoring affair, as Marshall kept Oakland at bay most of the game, at one point leading 9-6. In the eighth inning, Junior outfielder Ian Cleary hit a grand slam, one of three home runs for him on the day, to put Oakland up 10-9, giving them the edge. In the ninth, Marshall hit a home run to tie the game, until a walk off three-run homer stole the win from Oakland. Marshall won 13-10, and took a 3-0 lead.

Oakland, looking to not get swept in two straight series, continued their offensive in game four. Sophomore pitcher Chas Sagedahl came up big for Oakland, striking out eight Marshall players and allowing only two runs in seven innings. The Golden Grizzlies scored first in the fourth inning and kept the pressure up from there as they scored multiple runs off of homers and fly balls to lead 9-2 in the eighth. Marshall tried to mount a comeback, scoring off a two run double in the bottom of the eighth, but Oakland proved too much and took game four 10-4, but Marshall University won the series 3-1.

Despite Oakland’s struggles, the Golden Grizzlies averaged five runs per game over the four game series and proved they can score with top teams such as Marshall down the stretch. Oakland will look to improve their pitching, as multiple games with 10 or more hits put them in a disadvantage that would be hard for the best teams to climb out of.

Oakland will play their next series at Southern Illinois University: Edwardsville on March 11-13, where they will play three matches against a team who is on a five-game winning streak. Oakland must bring their best pitching rotation to cool off the scorching hot Edwardsville team that has scored 10+ in their last three games.