March 4, 2007
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Sophomore Brandon Henderson's game-winning double down the right field line in the bottom of the ninth gave East Carolina a 3-2 win over in-state foe Western Carolina Sunday afternoon at the Fourth Annual Keith LeClair Classic which was being played at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
With one out in the ninth, Dale Mollenhauer collected his third hit of the afternoon, a single to left, to set up Henderson's double.
ECU (7-6) reliever Brett Butts picked up his first win of the season after working a scoreless ninth inning where he walked and struck out one. Sophomore Josh Dowdy, who was making his third career start, worked a career-best 8.0 innings allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits file striking out five with no walks. In two starts, Dowdy has allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out seven in 14 2/3 innings.
Suffering the loss for the Catamounts (6-4) was reliever Greg Holland, who went one inning, gave two hits, one run with a strikeout. Starter Drew Saberhagen, the son of former Major Leaguer Bret Saberhagen, gave up two runs (both earned) in seven innings of work, fanning one and walking none.
In the bottom of the first inning, it looked like the Pirates were going to take an early lead when they had the bases loaded with no outs, but Saberhagen got the next three Pirate batters out when Henderson popped up to short, Ryan Tousley fouled out and Corey Kemp flied out to center, stranding all three base runners.
The Catamounts jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Steve Strausbaugh doubled to left-center plating Jason Haynes and Blake Murphy. Hayes and Murphy both reached base after being hit by a Dowdy pitch
With one out in the bottom of the third frame, the Pirates once again look to be in good position to score when they again had the bases loaded. But just like the first inning, Saberhagen settled down and struck out Tousley for the second out and forced Kemp to a fly out to right field.
The Pirates finally got on the score board in the bottom of the sixth inning when senior David Forbes cranked his second home run of the season, a two-run shot to left-center, to tie the game at two, scoring Drew Schieber.
Offensively the Pirates pounded out 13 hits, with the first four batters in Eldridge (2), Mollenhauer (3), Stephen Batts (2) and Henderson (2) accounting for nine of this base knocks. Ryan Wood also collected two hits on the day.
ECU will continue its home stand this week when they host N.C. A&T on Tuesday, March 6 at 3 p.m., before squaring off against nationally-ranked Cal State Fullerton at home on March 9-11.