After counting down the Top 11 moments of the 2011 season, ECU's first-ever series sweep against Tulane is our choice for the top moment of the season. After winning just seven games in the previous 25 meetings between the two clubs, ECU posted a road series sweep of Tulane and then captured its fourth win of the season against the Green Wave in the 2011 Conference USA Championships.
Heading into the final weekend of play in the 2011 C-USA season, the Pirates were looking to solidify the No. 3 seed in the up coming C-USA Championships in Pearl, Miss., and strength their regular season resume to secure a spot in post-season play for the 25th time in school history.
Standing in their way were the pesky Green Wave, just one of two C-USA clubs that the Pirates had never won a series against since joining the league in 2002. Heading into the three-game series, ECU had won seven of its last nine games and seemed to be peaking at the right time. But playing Tulane on the road, a place where they had just three wins, made securing the No. 3 seed even more of a daunting task.
May 21, 2011 (ECU 7, Tulane 6 in 11 innings)
Corey Thompson's RBI single in the top of the 11th scored Jack Reinheimer from second giving No. 30 East Carolina its first-ever series sweep over Tulane 7-6 in extra innings.
Thompson, who drove in three runs in the game, roped a single back up the middle pushing across Reinheimer, who walked for the third time in the game to start the frame.
Seth Simmons (6-2) recorded the win after working two innings of relief where he allowed one run on three hits. Brad Mincey notched his third save of the year working a scoreless 11th with a walk and a punch out. Starter Kevin Brandt went seven innings where he allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits with two strikeouts. Joseph Hughes tossed one inning of relief surrendering three runs on three this with two free passes.
Nick Pepitone (3-2) suffered the loss after working 4.2 innings of relief giving up one run on three hits with two punch-outs. Alex Byo gave up three runs (two earned) on five this in 4.2 frames, while Drew Zizinia went 1.2 innings giving up two runs (both earned) on three walks.
Trailing 6-2 going to the bottom of the ninth, Tulane managed to score four runs and send the game into extra innings thanks to three hits. Bowen Woodson was hit by a Simmons pitch to start the frame then took second on Cody Robinson's single to left field before a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. Garrett Cannizaro followed with a walk to load the bases for Brennan Middleton, who singled through the left side scoring Woodson and cutting the lead to three, 6-3.
The ninth continued when Robinson scored on Blake Crohan's sac fly to center. Nick Schneeberger tied the game at six when he ripped a two-out ground rule double down the right field line plating both Middleton and Cannizaro before Simmons fanned pinch hitter Flank Florio to get out of the jam.
Offensively the Pirates collected nine hits with Fultz leading the way with his second-straight three-hit game. Joining Fultz with multiple hits were Thompson (2-for-3) and Reinheimer (2-for-2).
May 20, 2011 (ECU 6, Tulane 2)
Ben Fultz recorded three hits and drove in two, while Seth Maness allowed one run over six innings to become the school's all-timer leader in wins as No. 30 East Carolina won game two and clinched its first-ever series win over Tulane Friday night 6-2. Also with the win, the Pirates locked in the third seed at the 2011 Conference USA Championships in Pearl, Miss.
Maness (8-3) notched his 36th win after scattering four hits with one walk and a strikeout. Shawn Armstrong spelled Maness in the seventh working 1.1 innings where he allowed one run on two hits with a walk and a pair of punch outs. Senior Seth Simmons recorded his sixth save of the season and 26th of his career tossing the final 1.2 frames with two strikeouts, a walk and one hit.
Conrad Flynn (3-6) suffered the loss after giving up four runs (all earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts. D.J. Ponder was touched for a pair of runs (one earned) in 2.1 innings and Nick Pepitone closed the final two-thirds of the game.
Both hurlers were impressive from the outset as each retired the side in order through two frames thanks to a couple of double plays. With the a scoreless tie after three innings, ECU final got on the board in the fourth thanks to Zach Wright's 13th home run of the season, a solo shot to left-center for a 1-0 advantage.
ECU scratched across its second run of the game for a 2-0 lead when Philip Clark groundout to first with the bases loaded scoring Chase McDonald. With one out, the Pirates recorded three consecutive singles from McDonald, Jack Reinheimer and Mike Ussery loading the bases for Clark.
On the night the Pirates posted double-digit hits for the 16th time in the last 21 games with their 13 base knocks. Fultz led all hitters with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate, while McDonald, Whitehead and Reinheimer each added two hits. For Whitehead it was his eighth-straight game with multiple hits.
May 19, 2011 (ECU 5, Tulane 1)
Mike Wright and Brad Mincey combined for a two-hitter and four Pirates recorded multiple hits as No. 30 East Carolina took the opener of a three-game Conference USA series from the Green Wave 5-1 Thursday night at Greer Field inside Turchin Stadium.
The Pirates, who collected at least one base hit in eight of the nine innings, scored a pair of runs in the third taking an early 2-0 advantage. Corey Thompson led off with a double to left field extending his current hit streak to 13 games in league play and scored when Trent Whitehead (2-for-3) laced a shot back up the middle, his second hit of the contest. John Wooten (2-for-4) drove in the game winning run just two batters later on an infield single to second that scored Whitehead from third.
Wright (6-3) notched his first win in conference play working six strong innings where he allowed one run (earned) on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts before turning the game over to Mincey, who picked up his second save of the season tossing three scoreless innings with three walks and three punch outs.
David Napoli fell to 1-3 on the year after giving up three runs (two earned) on nine hits with five strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Drew Zizinia was touched for a pair of runs on two hits with three walks, while Alex Facundus recorded a strikeout in two-thirds of an inning.
Offensively the Pirates collected double-digit hits for the 15th time in the last 20 games with their 12 base knocks. Freshman Jack Reinheimer joined Whitehead, Wooten and Ussery with multiple hits on the night.
Top 11 Moments of the 2011 Baseball Season
1. Pirates record first-ever series sweep against Tulane (May 19-21, 2011)
2. ECU's 5-4 come from behind win in 12 innings at Houston (April 21, 2011)
3. Seth Maness' complete game shutout against No. 19 Southern Miss (May 27, 2011)
4. ECU's 10th inning come from behind win at Marshall (May 6, 2011)
5. Corey Thompson's two RBI double lifts ECU past Tulane at C-USA Tournament (May 26, 2011)
6. Seth Maness' complete game shutout against Pepperdine (Mar. 4, 2011)
7. Austin Homan becomes first two-time recipient of the honorary No. 23 jersey
8. Kevin Brandt strikes out 12 against Rutgers (Mar. 20, 2011)
9. Zach Wright's three game-winning home runs
10. ECU scores 20 runs on 20 hits against UNCW (Mar. 29, 2011)
11. Seth Simmons becomes ECU's all-time saves leader (Mar. 19, 2011)