Rally falls just short for Pirates

Published 10:12 pm Saturday, May 10, 2008

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Once they got Shooter Hunt out of the game, the No. 21 East Carolina Pirates had a chance.
However, a late rally by the Pirates (36-14, 11-8) fell just short in a 5-4 loss to the Tulane Green Wave (34-15-1, 11-6-1) in Friday’s Conference USA action. The setback, coming in front of 3,341 fans at Clark-LeClair Stadium, snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Pirates. It also ended a string of 13 consecutive home victories.
Trailing 5-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth, ECU mounted a two-out rally. Dustin Harrington slapped a single off Tulane reliever Rob Segedin to get things started. Drew Schieber, who made his first start since March 23, laced an RBI double into left. Harrison Eldridge, who had a costly error in the top of the inning, followed with an RBI double into right to pull the Pirates within 5-4.
Ryan Wood, who clobbered a two-run home run in the eighth, had a chance to knock in the tying run. However, the junior, who appeared to tweak a hamstring while racing down the first-base line, grounded out to short to end the game.
The Green Wave scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the top of the ninth. With one out, Jared Dyer reached on a three-base error by Eldridge. The senior center fielder appeared to have snagged the fly ball on the run, but couldn’t quite hold it in his glove. Eldridge’s first error of the season came back to haunt the Pirates.
Sam Honeck’s sacrifice fly, coming off ECU reliever Josh Ruhlman, easily scored Dyer to make it 5-2.
Hunt (9-1) was lights out for the Green Wave. The junior flamethrower struck out nine batters and scattered five hits over seven innings of work.
Hunt, who has fanned 105 batters in 77 2-3 innings of work, departed after walking Eldridge in the eighth and the Green Wave holding a 4-0 lead.
Wood greeted Tulane reliever Mason Griffin rather rudely, blasting Griffin’s first pitch over the fence in left to pull the Pirates within 4-2. It was Wood’s 12th home run of the year.
Tulane was in command up until that point. Dyer’s RBI single in the first gave the Green Wave an early 1-0 lead.
Anthony Scelfo made it 2-0 with his team-leading 11th home run to start the third.
Tulane added two runs in the fifth to go up 4-0, chasing ECU starter Seth Maness (8-1) in the process. The freshman, who suffered his first collegiate loss, allowed four runs on eight hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Seth Henry had an RBI single and Andrew Rodgers drew a bases-loaded walk off ECU reliever Sthil Sowers (three hits in three innings) in the inning.
With inclement weather expected Sunday, the two teams will play a doubleheader today. The first game will begin at 2 p.m. with the second game expected to start 45 minutes after the conclusion of the opener.
ECU’s six seniors — Corey Kemp, Harrison Eldridge, T.J. Hose, Jamie Ray, Josh Ruhlman and Brett Butts, will be honored during the day.
Tulane 101 020 001 — 5 12 0
ECU 000 000 022 — 4 9 3
WP: Shooter Hunt (9-1); LP: Seth Maness (8-1); S: Rob Segedin (4)
Hitters: Tulane — Seth Henry 3-5 (RBI), Anthony Scelfo 2-4 (HR RBI), Rob Segedin 2-5, Andrew Rodgers 1-3 (RBI), Jared Dyer 1-4 (RBI), Josh Prince 1-4, Drew Allain 1-4, Warren McFadden 1-1; ECU — Drew Schieber 2-4 (2B, RBI), Ryan Wood 1-5 (HR, 2 RBIs), Harrison Eldridge 1-4 (2B, RBI), Stephen Batts 1-3 (3B), Jamie Ray 1-3, Kyle Roller 1-4, Dustin Harrington 1-4, Brandon Henderson