Junior Trent Whitehead
Feb. 27, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Trent Whitehead's RBI single to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning completed No. 13 East Carolina's comeback as the Pirates knotted the series at one with a 4-3 win over No. 10 South Carolina Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 3-3, while the Gamecocks fell to 4-1.
Trailing 3-2 and down to their last out in ninth, Corey Thompson tied the game at three on a seeing-eye single to left that was just out of the reach of shortstop Bobby Haney plating Bryan Bass from second. Bass entered the game as a pinch runner for Austin Homan who drew a leadoff walk before Thompson's two-out hit. Whitehead followed with his third base knock of the game pushing across pinch runner Chris Gosik for the winning run.
ECU reliever Seth Simmons got the rare win working a scoreless ninth after replacing Patrick Somers, who surrendered a leadoff single to Haney. Starter Kevin Brandt had another stellar outing limiting South Carolina to three runs (two earned) on five hits in 6.2 innings. The southpaw from Fuquay Varina, N.C. fanned a season-high six batters and walked three on the afternoon. Mike Wright made his third appearance of the season spelling Brandt in the seventh working a scoreless frame before Somers came in to face two batters.
John Taylor (0-1) suffered the loss after one-third of an inning of work where he was touched for one run on three this. Sam Dyson pitched four strong innings giving up two runs on two hits with five punch outs. The redshirt junior fanned four of the first six Pirate batters he faced including the side to start the game. Jimmy Revan tossed two shutout innings in relief (3 H, 3 Ks), while Jay Brown (0.2 IP, 1 H) and Michael Roth (1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 Ks) bridged the gap to Taylor.
South Carolina took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning when Adam Matthews delivered a two-run triple. Nick Ebert drew a leadoff walk off of Brant and Kyle Enders followed with a double down the left field line to put runners in scoring position. With one out, Matthews took a first pitch offering from Brandt to right over the head of Devin Harris that landed just fair clearing the bases.
Kyle Roller knotted the game at two in the bottom half of the fourth with a two-run shot to right center that landed on the Cliff Moore Football Practice Facility scoring Whitehead in front of him, who reached on an infield single.
The Gamecocks regained the lead in the seventh with unearned run off of Brandt. Whit Merrifield reached base with two down on a dropped fly ball by Harris and late touched home on Adrian Morales single to right for a 3-2 advantage.
Offensively the Pirates finished with 10 hits with Whitehead leading the charge after a 3-for-5 performance from the plate. Thompson and Zach Wright each added a pair of hits in the bottom of the order and Dustin Harrington extended his current hitting streak to 14 games with his single to left to start the eighth.
The Pirates and Gamecocks will play the rubber match Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. (EST) first pitch scheduled.