Long Ball Lifts ECU To Series Win, 12-2 (7 Inn.)
April 23, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas - Trent Whitehead hit a pair of two-run homers, while Corey Thompson and John Wooten highlighted a six-run fifth each hitting a pair of two run home runs as East Carolina (27-13, 8-7) cruised to a 12-2 rubber match win in seven innings over Houston (20-21, 7-5) Saturday afternoon at Cougar Field in Conference USA action.
On the day the Pirates hit five home runs and collected double-digit hits for the sixth time in seven games with their 13 on the afternoon. Joining Thompson, Whitehead and Wooten in the home run derby was freshman Ben Fultz, who led off the game with a solo shot to right field staking ECU to a 1-0 lead.
Shawn Armstrong (2-1) picked up the win after allowing two runs (both earned) on six hits and recorded a career-best eight strikeouts. Brad Mincey worked the final two innings giving up four hits and no runs.
Mo Wiley (2-2) suffered the loss working 3.2 innings allowing three runs (all earned) on four hits with two strikeouts and a walk. The Cougars used six additional pitchers on the afternoon that were touched for a combined nine runs on nine hits.
ECU pushed across three runs in the top of the fourth for a 4-0 lead, highlighted by Whitehead's third home run of the season. Zach Wright singled to right field and Whitehead deposited a fastball over the centerfield wall. Philip Clark drew a two out walk and on a hit and run scored when Mike Ussery doubled to left field.
Houston got on the board in the bottom of the fourth cutting ECU's lead to three, 4-1 on a John Cannon ground out. Chase Jensen singled through the left side to start the inning and moved into scoring position on an Armstrong balk and took third on a fly out by M.P. Cokinos before scoring on Cannon's ground out to short.
Thompson and Wooten's two-run shots to left center in the fifth accounted for four of ECU's six runs pushing the lead to 10-1. Jack Reinheimer drew a leadoff walk and came around on Thompson's third homer of the season. With two outs, Whitehead walked and trotted home on Wooten's first round-tripper of the season - snapping a 176 at-bat drought. Clark followed with a single up the middle and Ussery poked a shot through the left side putting runners on the corners for Fultz, who singled home Clark with another base hit up the middle.
Houston scored once in the bottom of the fifth making the score 10-2 before Whitehead homered for the second time in the game on another shot to left field scoring Chase McDonald in front of him after he singled up the middle with one out.
ECU will be back in action on Tuesday, April 26 when they travel to Old Dominion for a 3 p.m. game. The Pirates will return home on Wednesday to face nationally-ranked North Carolina before hosting C-USA rival and nationally-ranked Southern Miss (April 29-May1).