ECU Claims Series Over Tulane, 6-2
May 21, 2011
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Ben Fultz recorded three hits and drove in two, while Seth Maness allowed one run over six innings to become the school's all-timer leader in wins as No. 30 East Carolina (36-18, 13-10) won game two and clinched its first-ever series over Tulane (30-23, 10-13) Friday night 6-2. Also with the win, the Pirates locked in the third seed at the upcoming 2011 Conference USA Championships in Pearl, Miss. next week.
Maness (8-3), who already owns school records in starts (59) and innings pitched (393.2), notched his 36th win after scattering four hits with one walk and a strikeout. Shawn Armstrong spelled Maness in the seventh working 1.1 innings where he allowed one run on two hits with a walk and a pair of punch outs. Senior Seth Simmons recorded his sixth save of the season and 26th of his career tossing the final 1.2 frames with two strikeouts, a walk and one hit.
Conrad Flynn (3-6) suffered the loss after giving up four runs (all earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts. D.J. Ponder was touched for a pair of runs (one earned) in 2.1 innings and Nick Pepitone closed the final two-thirds of the game.
Both hurlers were impressive from the outset as each retired the side in order through two frames thanks to a couple of double plays. With the a scoreless tie after three innings, ECU final got on the board in the fourth thanks to Zach Wright's 13th home run of the season, a solo shot to left-center for a 1-0 advantage.
ECU scratched across its second run of the game for a 2-0 lead when Philip Clark groundout to first with the bases loaded scoring Chase McDonald. With one out, the Pirates recorded three consecutive singles from McDonald, Jack Reinheimer and Mike Ussery loading the bases for Clark.
Garrett Cannizaro's RBI single in the bottom of the fifth pulled Tulane within one, 2-1. Matt Ryan led off with an infield single to third and advanced to third Bowen Woodson ground out to John Wooten at first, who then attempted to double up Ryan at second, but an errant throw moved him to second setting up Cannizaro's base knock through the left side.
ECU responded in the top of the sixth scoring a couple of runs to push its lead to 4-1. Fultz laced a two-out RBI double to left center scoring Trent Whitehead, who singled to start the frame. McDonald followed with an intentional walk and Reinheimer was hit with a pitch to load the bases for Ussery, who was plunked by another Flynn pitch scoring Fultz.
The Green Wave pulled within two, 4-2, in the eighth when Nick Schneeberger reached on an infield single just in front of Wright at the plate with runners on the corners scoring Nick Boullosa.
Futlz' second RBI base hit and a Tulane error accounted for both of ECU's runs in the top of the ninth that capped the scoring a 6-2.
Offensively the Pirates posted double-digit hits for the 16th time in the last 21 games with their 13 base knocks. Fultz led all hitters with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate, while McDonald, Whitehead and Reinheimer each added two hits. For Whitehead it was his eighth-straight game with multiple hits.
ECU will look for its first series sweep of the season when the two teams meet back on the diamond Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. (EDT) first pitch scheduled.