Feb. 12, 2006
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina dropped its first game of the season Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader against Maryland, 1-0. Maryland hurlers Brett Tidball and Brett Cecil combined on the five-hit shutout to give the Terrapins their first win of the season while ECU falls to 1-1.
Maryland's lone run came in the fifth when Joe Palumbo grounded out to short with one out, scoring Brian Jarosinski, who had singled earlier to lead off the inning.
Dustin Sasser pitched well in his first outing of the season in a losing effort, allowing one run on five hits while striking out five in seven innings of work. Sasser, making just the third start of his career, tied his career-high of seven innings pitched he set May 1, 2004 against Houston. Pitching in his first game since the Columbia Super Regional in 2004, the left-handed sophomore struck out two of the first three batters he faced on the day. Carter Harrell, who also made his first appearance since the 2004 season, came on in relief of Sasser, tossing two shutout innings.
Maryland's starter, Tidball, held ECU scoreless before exiting with the win; setting career highs in innings pitched (6.0) and strikeouts (4), while allowing only four hits. Cecil, the Terps' closer, came on in the seventh and held the Pirates scoreless in the final three innings, earning his first third career save and first of the season. The shutout marks the Terps' first since April 7, 2004.
Tidball got out of a jam early after the Pirates loaded the bases with no outs in the second. Adam Witter led off the inning with an infield single and after Jake Dean was hit by a pitch, Mattox reached on the second infield bunt of the inning. Tidball then managed to strikeout Stephen Batts and Ryan Tousley before Chris Buss grounded to third.
Pinch-hitter Adam Hodges led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to center and after a Drew Schieber sac bunt that moved pinch-runner Jaime Ray to second, Dale Mollenhauer singled up the middle, putting runners on the corners with one out. Cecil then managed to get out of the inning with consecutive fly-outs, killing ECU's late rally.
The Pirates and the Terps will play the second game of the doubleheader approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.