Rice’s Berry fans 12 in win over Pirates

Published 7:13 pm Saturday, April 7, 2007

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — The No. 22 East Carolina Pirates had no answers for Ryan Berry.
The freshman struck out a career-high 12 batters to lead the No. 8 Rice Owls to a 4-0 victory in Conference USA play Friday in front of 3,257 fans at Clark-LeClair Stadium. ECU (21-10, 4-3), which saw its 14-game home winning streak come to an end, has dropped four of its last five games.
Rice (24-10, 6-1) has now won five straight.
Berry (5-1) was a big reason why. He scattered four hits and walked one in seven innings of work. Berry, who reached double digits in strikeouts for the third time in his young career, struck out each Pirate starter at least once.
After stranding runners in scoring position in the second, third and fourth innings, the Owls broke through in the fifth. Brian Friday ripped a double into center, extending his hitting streak to eight games, and Diego Seastrunk singled into right to put runners at the corners. Jordan Dodson hit a check-swing fielder’s choice that scored Friday for a 1-0 lead.
Rice tacked on two runs in the sixth. All-American Joe Savery walked and he came around on Aaron Luna’s double, his second of the game and the fourth for Rice, to make it 2-0. After surrendering an infield hit to Jared Gayhart and then walking Danny Lehmann to load the bases, ECU starter T.J. Hose (4-4) was replaced by Josh Ruhlman.
Pinch hitter Derek Myers hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Luna to score for a 3-0 lead.
Hose ended up going five innings, allowing three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
Gayhart’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly off reliever Mike Flye in the seventh extended the Owls advantage to 4-0.
Flye was solid in relief, tossing 3 1/3 innings and allowing one run on one hit. He struck out one and walked three.
The Pirates had their only real scoring threat in the third. Jake Dean led off with a single into left. He moved to second on a sacrifice. One out later, Harrison Eldridge reached on an error. Dean was caught too far off third on the play and was thrown out to end the inning.
The frustration of not producing any offense hit the ECU dugout. Assistant coach Link Jarrett was tossed after arguing a strike call in the bottom of the sixth.
Rice reliever Ryne Tacker pitched two innings of scoreless ball to preserve the shutout.
The teams meet again today at 4 p.m. before concluding the series Sunday at 11 a.m.