The Pirates cage the Tigers for their fifth straight victory

Published 9:35 pm Saturday, April 21, 2007

By Staff
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Kyle Roller homered for the third consecutive game and Jeff Ostrander made a solid return to the mound, helping to lift the East Carolina Pirates to a 14-1 win over Savannah State.
ECU (26-12) won its fifth straight in front of 2,738 fans Friday evening at Clark-LeClair Stadium, while sending the Tigers (26-18) to their second straight loss. The Pirates banged out 16 hits, with 12 different batters getting at least one.
Ostrander (2-0) came on in the fourth, making his first appearance since pitching two-thirds of an inning on March 28. The senior southpaw, making his third appearance overall, earned his second win of the season and first since Feb. 10.
Ostrander allowed one hit in four innings. He faced the minimum 12 batters, benefiting from a pick-off, a caught stealing and a double play.
Ostrander and three others combined to throw a three-hitter.
Mike Anderson started for the Pirates. The freshman went three innings and allowed an unearned run on two hits in three innings, striking out two and walking one.
Cody Leggett pitched the eighth, retiring all three batters he faced in his second appearance of the season. Joe O’Malley pitched a hitless ninth.
The Pirates jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first. Stephen Batts (2-4) slapped a two-out single and he advanced to second on an error. Ryan Tousley followed with an RBI-single up the middle.
ECU tacked on three more runs in the second for a 4-0 advantage. Harrison Eldridge’s bunt RBI-single highlighted the frame.
Timothy Waine walked and eventually scored on a passed ball in the top of the third to get the Tigers on the board.
ECU answered in the bottom half on Roller’s third homer in as many games. After Ryan Wood was hit by a pitch, Roller drilled a laser over the fence in right-center, extending ECU’s lead to 6-1.
Tousley (2-3, HR, 3 RBIs) blasted his team-leading ninth home run of the season, a solo shot to lead off the fifth, to give the Pirates a 7-1 cushion.
ECU pushed the lead to 11-1 in the seventh. Tousley’s sacrifice fly scored Dale Mollenhauer (2-4, 2B), Corey Kemp (2-3, 2 RBIs) ripped an RBI-single and Drew Schieber belted a two-run double to the Pirates a 10-run lead.
Jake Dean hit his first homer of the season, a 2-run shot in the eighth, to give the Pirates a 13-1 lead. Kemp’s sacrifice fly later in the inning capped the scoring.
Savannah State starter Patrick Ballew (7-5) allowed 11 runs (nine earned), coming off 12 hits in seven innings.
The stadium, which featured a large “VT” imprinted on the infield dirt behind second base, was sprinkled with fans wearing maroon and orange to support Virginia Tech in the wake of Monday’s tragedy.
The teams meet again today at 6 p.m., followed by Sunday’s finale at 1 p.m.
ECU plays at No. 2 North Carolina on Tuesday before returning to Conference USA action next weekend at home against Southern Miss.