Kevin Brandt tosses complete game against No. 21 Rice
April 10, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Junior Kevin Brandt tossed his second career complete game and helped East Carolina (22-10, 4-5 C-USA) to a much needed 7-3 win over No. 21 Rice (23-13, 6-3) Sunday afternoon in Conference USA action at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Brandt scattered seven hits in the contest allowing three runs (two earned) and struck out six Owls to improve to 4-0 on the year. He retired 14 of the final 16 batters faced surrendering a single in the sixth and a leadoff home run to Shane Hoelscher in the ninth. The southpaw from Fuquay Varina, N.C. recorded multiple punch outs in the first, third and eight frames and gave up just two extra base hits, including a double to Geoff Perrott in the third frame.
Abe Gonzales (3-1) was saddled with his first loss of the season after pitching a career-long 6.2 innings where he was touched four five runs (two earned) on eight hits. Rice used a trio of arms out of the bullpen to close out the game in John Simms (walk), Jeremy Fant (0.2 IP, 2 R, 2 BB, K) and Holt McNair (0.2 IP, H, BB, K).
ECU wasted little time getting on the scoreboard taking advantage of a Rice fielding error for three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jack Reinheimer doubled down the right field line and Corey Thompson singled to left to put runners on the corners. With two outs, Trent Whitehead reached on an errant throw that allowed Reinhiemer to score and keep the inning alive. John Wooten followed with a single up the middle scoring both Thompson and Whitehead for an early 3-0 lead.
The Owls cut the lead to one, 3-2, in the third frame. Geoff Perrott led off with a double down the left field line, and an ECU error during Kennan Cook's at bat put runners on first and third. Michael Fuda drove in the first Rice run when he reached on a fielder's choice that plated Perrott. J.T. Chargois and Anthony Rendon recorded back-to-back singles scoring Fuda to cap the inning.
Chase McDonald's double to left center scored Wooten from second to push the Pirates lead to 4-2 in the fourth.
ECU tacked on a run in the seventh and two in the eight to blow the game open a 7-2. Zach Wright's bases loaded walk scored Philip Clark for the run in the seventh and in the eighth Mike Ussery reached on an error by shortstop Derek Hamilton scoring Wooten. Ben Fultz followed with a RBI single to right field scoring Clark.
The Pirates will be back in action on Tuesday, April 12 when they travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. to take on nationally-ranked North Carolina before returning home for a three-game series with UCF (April 15-17).