Junior Mike Wright struck out six in 7.1 innings against Rice
April 9, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Michael Ratterree's bases loaded walk and Craig Manuel's single in the 10th lifted No. 21 Rice (23-12, 6-2) to a 5-3 extra inning win over East Carolina (21-10, 3-5) Saturday afternoon in Conference USA action at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Owls claim their sixth-straight league series over the Pirates and improve to 17-3 all-time.
With the game tied at three going into extra innings, Kennan Cook reached on an error to start the 10th. J.T. Chargois and Anthony Rendon drew consecutive walks before Ratterree stepped into the box and recorded the game-winning RBI on a walk of his own. Manuel, who was 2-for-5 on the afternoon, singled to center scoring Chargois and capping the score at 5-3.
Tyler Duffey (5-1) picked up the win tossing 2.1 scoreless innings of relief where he allowed two hits and struck out three. Starter Matthew Reckling lasted 3.2 innings surrendering two runs on no hits, while walking six and striking out five. Tyler Spurlin and Taylor Wall bridged the cap to Duffey combining to allow one run on four hits with a walk and strikeout.
Senior Seth Simmons (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season after giving up a pair of runs on two hits with four walks and a strikeout in 1.2 innings of relief. Junior Mike Wright was impressive in his start going 7.1 innings where he allowed three runs (all earned) on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Brad Mincey tossed a scoreless inning of relief with a pair of punch outs.
The Pirates used a pair errors and four walks in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead. John Wooten started the frame reaching base on an errant throw by Reckling over to first, which moved him to second but another throwing error, this time by the right fielder Ryan Lewis, landed him on third base. Austin Homan plated the games first run on a RBI ground out to second. The second run came on a bases loaded walk by Corey Thompson that scored Jack Reinheimer, who reached on a walk before taking second on a wild pitch and third on Drew Reynolds' second free pass of the day. Ben Fultz loaded the bases with his intentional walk setting up Thompson's RBI.
In the fifth, ECU extended its lead to 3-0 on Wooten's RBI single up the middle. Zach Wright doubled down the right field line and took third when Lewis couldn't handle the ball in right field. Wooten sent a shot back up the middle driving in his 13th run of the season.
Rice scratched across a run in the seventh cutting the lead to two, 3-1. Chargois led off with a single up the middle before Ratterree pushed him to second on a one-out base hit to center. Manuel followed with a double to right center scoring Chargois.
Chargois knotted the game at three in the eighth when he laced a two RBI double down the left field line scoring Derek Hamilton and Cook. Hamilton led off the inning with a single to left and Cook followed with a one out base hit to short before ECU brought Simmons in from the bullpen.
ECU had a chance to win the game in the ninth. Trent Whitehead singled through the right side to start the stanza and moved to second when Zach Wright was hit by a Duffey pitch. After a fielder's choice bunt from Wooten forced Whitehead out at third, Austin Homan struck out swinging and Reinheimer grounded out to first to end the ninth.
For the second-straight weekend the Pirates will look to salvage Sunday's game as the two teams meet at 10:30 a.m. (EST) for the final game of the series.