ECU Wins Thriller In Series Sweep, 7-6 (11 Inn.)
May 21, 2011
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Corey Thompson's RBI single in the top of the 11th scored Jack Reinheimer from second giving No. 30 East Carolina (37-18, 14-10) its first-ever series sweep over Tulane (30-24, 10-14) 7-6 in extra innings.
Thompson, who drove in three runs in the game, roped a single back up the middle pushing across Reinheimer, who walked for the third time in the game to start the frame.
Seth Simmons (6-2) recorded the win after working two innings of relief where he allowed one run on three hits. Brad Mincey notched his third save of the year working a scoreless 11th with a walk and a punch out. Starter Kevin Brandt went seven innings where he allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits with two strikeouts. Joseph Hughes tossed one inning of relief surrendering three runs on three this with two free passes.
Nick Pepitone (3-2) suffered the loss after working 4.2 innings of relief giving up one run on three hits with two punch outs. Alex Byo gave up three runs (two earned) on five this in 4.2 frames, while Drew Zizinia went 1.2 innings giving up two runs (both earned) on three walks.
Trailing 6-2 going to the bottom of the ninth, Tulane managed to score four runs and send the game into extra innings thanks to three hits. Bowen Woodson was hit by a Simmons pitch to start the frame then took second on Cody Robinson's single to left field before a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. Garrett Cannizaro followed with a walk to load the bases for Brennan Middleton, who singled through the left side scoring Woodson and cutting the lead to three, 6-3.
The ninth continued when Robinson scored on Blake Crohan's sac fly to center. Nick Schneeberger tied the game at six when he ripped a two-out ground rule double down the right field line plating both Middleton and Cannizaro before Simmons fanned pinch hitter Flank Florio to get out of the jam.
ECU took an early 2-0 lead in the third inning on Philip Clark's ground out and Corey Thompson's sac fly. Jack Reinheimer singled up the middle to start the frame before Mike Ussery reached on a fielding error by the first baseman. After a wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position, Clark grounded out to first scoring Reinheimer and Thompson lifted a pitch to left field plating Ussery.
Tulane pushes across a run in the bottom half of the third cutting the lead to one, 2-1. Brennan Middleton doubled down the left field line on a ball that hit the third base bag and popped over Thompson's head. Nick Boullosa followed with a bunt single that moved Middleton to third before Matt Ryan grounds into a double play scoring Middleton.
Thompson extended his current hitting streak in league play to 15 games when he took a 1-0 offering from Byo to left field for his fourth home run of the season extending ECU's lead to 3-1.
The Green Wave pulled within one, 3-2, in the fifth when Middleton scored on a failed pickoff move trying to catch Boullosa napping. Middleton singled up the middle with two outs and took third on a single by Boullosa to right field setting up Tulane's second run of the game.
Zach Wright's two-RBI double highlighted ECU's three-run seventh extending the lead to 6-2. Thompson and Whitehead drew consecutive walks and came around to score on Wright's two-bagger to right field, where Wright took third on an errant throw by the second baseman. Fultz followed with a sac bunt attempt while Wright was dashing down the line on a suicide squeeze attempt giving the Pirates a four-run advantage.
Offensively the Pirates collected nine hits with Fultz leading the way with his second-straight three-hit game. Joining Fultz with multiple hits were Thompson (2-for-3) and Reinheimer (2-for-2).
The Pirates will now turn their focus to the 2011 Conference USA Championships, where the will be the third seed and most likely face Houston on Wednesday, May 25 at 5 p.m. (EDT). Pairings will be finalized later this afternoon and can be found on www.ECUPirates.com later this evening.