Smith's RBI Barrage Continues As ECU Destroys Duke, 17-4
Feb. 28, 2006
GREENVILLE, N.C. - For the second time in a week, East Carolina beat Duke by double-digit runs as the Pirates dominated the Blue Devils, 17-4, at Clark-LeClair Stadium Tuesday afternoon. ECU scored two in the first, one in the third, five in the fourth and nine in the eighth to put the Blue Devils away.
Jake Smith, who was named C-USA Hitter of the Week on Monday for his 10 RBI performance last week, continued his torrid pace of driving in runners with a career-high six RBI in ECU's 13-run victory. Smith finished the day 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a double, and a grand slam.
Four other Pirates collected two hits as ECU (8-3) finished with 12 as a team. Jay Mattox finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a career-best four runs scored while Harrison Eldridge also finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs. Stephen Batts hit 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run while Brandon Henderson went 2-for-2 with a double, a homer, three RBI and two runs scored all as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. Chris Buss also tripled in an eighth-inning pinch-hit appearance, driving in two of ECU's nine eighth inning runs.
Brody Taylor picked up his first win since the 2004 season, tossing five shutout innings in his first start of the year. The senior left-hander gave up just four hits while walking two and striking out six. Mike Flye, Josh Dowdy and Michael Hill combined to throw the final four innings.
Duke starter Jim Perry suffered the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, on five hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. Jimmy Saris, Jonathan Anderson and Durfee combine to allow nine earned runs in the final 4 1/3 innings.
Brett Bartles and Anderson each finished with three hits to lead Duke (4-7).
The Pirates didn't waste any time to get ahead of the Blue Devils, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Smith's double to right-center scored Mattox from second for the first run before Batts' RBI single to center scored Smith two batters later.
The Pirates' lead increased to 3-0 in the third when Smith drove in Mattox for the second time in the first three innings with an RBI grounder to second.
ECU took an 8-0 lead with five runs in the bottom of the fourth. The scoring started when a Drew Schieber sac fly to right brought home Ryan Tousley from third, pushing the lead to 4-0. Four batters later with two outs and the bases loaded, Smith connected on his third homer of the season with a shot to left.
Duke added two runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings, cutting the Pirate lead to 8-4.
ECU blew the game open in the eighth with nine more runs. In the inning, the Pirates collected one walk, one hit-by-pitch, two singles, two doubles, two triples and Henderson's first-career homer.
East Carolina will host Stony Brook this weekend at Clark-LeClair Stadium, March 3-5. The only meeting between the two schools came in 2004 when the Pirates beat the Seawolves, 8-2, in the 2004 Kinston Regional.