April 1, 2006
GREENVILLE, N.C. - A quartet of Cougars blasted home runs in the first two innings Saturday night as Houston defeated East Carolina 13-4 at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Isa Garcia wasted little time in helping the Cougars (18-12, 5-0) get on the board when he belted his second home run of the season, a two-run shot, in the top of the first off ECU (17-12, 1-4) starter Dustin Sasser. Two batters later, designated hitter Brad Lincoln added to the lead with a solo shot of his own to pull ahead 3-0.
Jake Stewart's three-run bomb and Dustin Kingsbury's solo blast in the second extended the Cougars lead to 7-0 and Houston never looked back.
Sasser (4-4) suffered his fourth loss of the season after working just 1 1/3 innings allowing six runs on four hits. Freshman Josh Dowdy tossed a season-high 3 2/3 innings in relief while tying a season-high in strike outs (three) before giving way to Kevin Rhodes and Michael Hill to close the game.
Dale Mollenhauer recorded his 12th multi-hit game of the season going 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run, a double and two runs scored. It was his first four-hit game since April 22, 2005 when he went 4-for-5 against Memphis. Jay Mattox, who had two hits, led eight other Pirate batters with hits on the night. Sophomore Jamie Ray extended his hitting streak to nine games with a RBI single in the fifth and Harrison Eldridge extended his to five games.
Matt Farrington (2-4) picked up his second win of the season after throwing 4 2/3 innings of relief. Houston starter Ricky Hargrove did not factor in the decision as he worked 4 1/3 innings surrendering three runs, all earned, on eight hits with two strike outs.
Garcia became the first Cougar to hit for the cycle since Jason Pekar in 1998 with his team leading four hits. Logan pounded out three hits, while Kingsbury was 2-for-6 at the plate with a home run and Stewart ended the night going 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and four runs scored.
Mollenhauer answered the Cougars in the bottom of the second when he launched a solo shot that hit the scoreboard in right-center off Ricky Hargrove. Drew Schieber's two-out single to left scored Jay Mattox to put the game at 7-2.
Ray plated the Pirates third run of the game in the bottom fifth with a single to right field that scored Ryan Wood.
Houston padded their lead scoring one run in the third, two in the sixth and three in the seventh.
Mollenhauer ripped a double to right-center for his fourth hit of the night in the bottom of the seventh to set up the Pirates fourth run of the game, which came on a Mattox single that scored Mollenhauer to close the game at 13-4.
The Pirates and Cougars will conclude the three-game series Sunday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m.