March 24, 2007
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Dustin Sasser pitched seven innings of four-hit ball to help No. 22 East Carolina pick up its 12th win in a row, as the Pirates (18-6) moved to 2-0 in Conference USA play with a 12-0 victory over the Memphis Tigers (14-9, 0-2) Saturday night inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Sasser improved to 3-0 on the season and dropped his ERA to 2.08 after fanning six Tiger batters and allowing only three walks. Mike Flye pitched two innings of scoreless relief giving up two hits, walking two and striking out three. The pitching duo combined for the second shutout of the season (Cal State Fullerton on March 10) and allowed just six hits.
Ben Grisham fell to 0-1 on the year after working 6 1/3 innings where he allowed seven runs (six earned) on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Brennon Martin (2/3 IP, two walks) and Mark Joe (one inning, four hits, five runs and two walks) saw action out of the bullpen.
The Pirates jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Ryan Tousley scored on a throwing error by Grisham on Drew Schieber's sac bunt. Corey Kemp scored the second run on Mark Letchworth's ground out to third.
Kemp extended the Pirates lead to 5-0 when he took a 1-0 offering from Grisham over the left field wall that landed on Charles Boulevard in the third frame. Harrison Eldridge led off with a single to right, advanced to second on Stephen Batts' single through the left side then moved to third on Tousley's fly out to center before Kemp's blast.
ECU added two runs in the bottom of the seventh pushing the lead to 7-0 on a bases loaded walk by Dale Mollenhauer and a Batts' sacrifice fly to center. Henderson singled through the left side to start the inning, then moved to third on Ryan Wood's bunt single that Kyle Norris threw away putting runners on second and third with one out. Eldridge drew a free pass, which was followed by Mollenhauer's RBI walk. Batts' collected his second RBI on the night when he plated Wood on a sac fly to center.
Offensively, the Pirates had a trio of batters collect multiple hits with Tousley, Kemp and Wood picking up a pair. Four Pirate batters drove in at least two runs (Batts-2, Tousley-2, Kemp-3 and Roller-2).
The two teams will conclude the C-USA opening weekend series Sunday morning with a first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m.