Copen, Herd beat ODU to give Beals 600th career win
Published 10:53 pm Friday, March 24, 2023
By CODY LINN
NORFOLK, Va. – Behind a career outing from starting pitcher Patrick Copen and six runs, Marshall University baseball (11-8, 2-2 Sun Belt) head coach Greg Beals earned his 600th career win in a 6-1 triumph in the series opener at Old Dominion (18-4, 3-1 Sun Belt) on Friday.
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“A great team effort tonight that was obviously led by Patrick Copen’s outing on the mound,” Beals said after earning his milestone victory. “Cope had command of his fastball, challenged and out executed a good ODU offense. We also had offensive contributions up and down the line-up. Great way to start a road series. We need to match that competitive intensity tomorrow.”
Copen had a career night on the bump. The junior threw a career-high 8.0 innings and tied his career-high of 11 strikeouts in the ballgame. Copen gave up just three hits and three walks as he won his first game of the season. The Belpre, Ohio, native has had seven or more strikeouts in five of his six starts this season.
The Herd’s offense was highlighted by four two-out runs in the top of the fifth. After a throwing error and a pair of fielder’s choices, Owen Ayers stood at first with two outs and the score 2-1 Marshall. Gio Ferraro then doubled to left center to score Ayers. Calin Smith followed with a single to left to bring home Ferraro.
Daniel Carinci and Elijah Vogelsong each drew walks to load the bases with Kebler Peralta stepping up to the plate. Peralta sent a 1-0 offering through the right side to score Smith and Carinci to make it 6-1 MU.
The Herd kicked off the scoring in the top of the first with an Ayers double that scored Kyle Schaefer. Schafer brought home Luke Edwards in the top of the third with a single to right center for the eventual game-winning run.
Reliever Chad Heiner threw a scoreless ninth inning while striking out a pair of Monarchs.
Copen and Heiner held ODU to just three hits as the Monarchs entered the contest second in the conference with 229 hits this season (10.9 per game).
Ayers, Ferraro and Peralta each had multi-efforts in the contest.
The Herd looks to take the series on Saturday in Norfolk. First pitch for game two is scheduled for 3 p.m.