March 17, 2006
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Five players with multiple hits and home runs by Dale Mollenhauer, Brandon Henderson and Harrison Eldridge led ECU to a 9-5 victory over Marist Friday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Eldridge's solo shot to left field in the sixth inning put the Pirates (14-6) up 3-2 and ECU would never relinquish the lead for the 14th win of the season.
Carter Harrell, who came in to relieve starter T.J. Hose in the top of the fifth, improved his record to 3-0 on the season after working 1 2/3 innings. Hose allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings, while allowing four hits and striking out four. Jason Neitz and Chris Powell pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth inning before giving way to Kevin Rhodes, who allowed two runs on five hits in one inning of work.
ECU collected 14 hits on the night getting three from Jake Smith (3-for-5) and two each from Jay Mattox (2-for-4), Mollenhauer (2-for-5), Adam Witter (2-for-4) and Eldridge (2-for-5). Witter along with Jake Dean (1-for-3) each extended their hitting streaks to six games.
George Heath fell to 1-2 on the season after giving up three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. Tom Close came in to relieve Heath in the bottom of the sixth allowing six runs in 2 1/3 innings and Peter Barone finished the game with a third of an innings worth of work.
Four Marist (4-8) players collected two hits on the day, with Travis Musolf (2-for-5) connecting on his first home run of the season. Justin Lepore belted his fourth home run of the season going 1-for-5 on the night.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Smith and Witter recorded back-to-back singles, which was followed by Dean reaching first on a Heath error to load the bases. Adam Hodges came into pitch hit for Stephen Batts and grounded out to short scoring Smith from third for the games first run.
ECU added another run in the bottom of the fourth on a Mattox single to right which scored Eldridge from second. Mattox advanced to second on a stolen base, his seventh of the season, and moved over to third on Mollenhauer's grounder to second before Smith ended the inning with a fly by to center field.
Marist got on the board in the top of the fifth inning when Musolf lifted a solo blast to right-center for his first home run of the year.
Justin Lepore tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the sixth with a solo shot to right field off Harrell. For Lepore it was a team-best fourth homer of the season.
Jaime Ray pushed across another Pirate run on a sac fly that scored Witter from third. Witter led the inning off with a single and moved over to second on a Dean sacrifice bunt, before taking third on a pass ball. Henderson hit his second home run of the season with a solo shot to left field to put the Pirates up 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh.
Marist plated their third run of the game in the top of the eighth when Kevin Grauer knocked in Bryan Towler on a sacrifice fly to left field pulling within two, 5-3.
The Pirates scored four more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, highlighted by Mollenhauer's first home run of the season, a two-run shot right center to put the score at 9-3.
Marist added two runs in the top of the ninth to close the scoring at 9-5.
ECU and Marist will play game two of the three-game series Saturday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.