CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After some poor early spring weather, it was a good Good Friday for baseball in Charleston - although the result was anything but for Marshall.
Alabama-Birmingham struck for six runs in the first two innings and kept tacking on to the early lead for a 10-6 win in the first game of a three-game set Friday at Appalachian Power Park in the Thundering Herd's Conference USA season opener.
Marshall battled back, answering UAB's first-inning two spot with four runs in the bottom, but while Marshall cooled off a bit afterward, the Blazers just kept rolling.
The Herd (10-14 overall, 0-1 Conference USA) committed two errors and yielded nine walks.
"We just weren't attacking the zone," Marshall coach Jeff Waggoner said of his pitchers. "We were too fine when we got ahead in the count and were afraid to pitch to contact in situations and it led to walks."
Herd Starter Chase Boster yielded seven runs (five earned) in his four innings on seven hits and three walks while striking out two in taking the loss.
"That sets the tone," Waggoner said of UAB's hot start. "You want your No. 1 to come out and perform a little better. He was up in the zone. We know he's a lot better than that and we expect him to be better the next time out."
Marshall's brief lead after a four-run bottom of the first came on the power of a three-run double from Eric Escobedo, who led the Marshall offense with two hits and the three RBIs while Matt Kirkwood added two hits with a double.
"I knew the bases were loaded and I just wanted to get a couple of runs in and I was able to do that," Escobedo said. "I squared the ball up pretty well and the whole thing is about scoring runs and helping this team win."
While Escobedo's double was a big hit for Marshall at the time, the Blazers' bats were humming from the beginning. Leadoff man Ivan DeJesus smoked a homer to right field to start the game and Ryan Pinzing added his own solo shot to right just three batters later.