No. 20 ECU splits with UCLA

Published 9:17 am Sunday, March 15, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — It may have taken a while to do it, but the No. 20 East Carolina Pirates earned their first victory over UCLA in school history.
The Pirates (11-4) picked up a 7-5 win over the Bruins (5-12) in the series finale, coming on a damp, cold Saturday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium. UCLA, which swept ECU in three games in 2007, took an 8-6 victory in Saturday’s conclusion of the second game, which had been suspended Friday night by rain. Drew Schieber ripped a clutch three-run homer, Brandon Henderson banged out three hits and Kevin Brandt did a solid job in relief during ECU’s victory.
Schieber’s three-run blast in the fifth inning, which gave the Pirates a 7-2 lead, proved to be the difference.
ECU jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, highlighted by a two-run shot by Henderson (3-3, HR, 2 2Bs, 2 RBIs). Stephen Batts slapped an RBI-single, extending his hitting streak to 17 games, and Schieber’s base knock up the middle plated another run.
Steve Rodriguez’s ground out scored a run in the second, and a solo shot by Eddie Murray (3-3) in the fifth brought the Bruins within 4-2.
A three-run blast by Schieber, his second home run of the day and fourth of the season, gave the Pirates a 7-2 advantage.
Cody Decker’s three-run homer, his sixth of the year, pulled UCLA within 7-5 in the eighth.
ECU’s Bailey Daniels retired the final five batters, striking out three of them, to notch his second save.
Freshman lefty Kevin Brandt (3-0), who gave up four runs on four hits in five innings, picked up the win. Freshman Mike Wright, who made his first career start, gave up a run on one hit in 2 1/3 innings.
UCLA starter Charles Brewer (0-2), who allowed six runs on five hits in four innings, suffered the loss.
Ryan Wood (3-5, 2 2Bs), whose 11-game hitting streak was broken a game earlier, had three hits in the win.
Dustin Harrington’s 18-game hitting streak, which was tied for the fifth longest in school history, came to an end in the victory.
The Bruins posted an 8-6 victory in the conclusion of the second game. UCLA held a 5-3 sixth-inning lead in the second game when action resumed Saturday morning.
Schieber jolted the groggy Saturday morning crowd with a three-run blast into left, giving the Pirates a 6-5 lead.
Blair Dunlap’s first homer of the year, a solo shot in the seventh off Sthil Sowers (1-2), tied it at 6-6. Alex Weber-Shapiro’s RBI-single off Sowers (2 runs, 4 hits, 1 2/3 innings) in the eighth gave the Bruins a 7-6 lead. Pinch-hitter Gino Aielli’s two-out, bases-loaded bunt single in the ninth capped the scoring.
Trevor Bauer (1-3), UCLA’s third hurler, made the lead stand up. The talented freshman, who struck out five, notched his first win with 3 2/3 innings of two-hit ball.
ECU had taken a 3-0 lead on a solo homer by Kyle Roller and a two-run shot by Zach Wright. That’s all UCLA freshman phenom Gerrit Cole allowed. The New York Yankees first-round pick had a career-high 12 strikeouts over five innings.
Trent Whitehead (10 games) saw his hitting streak get snapped in the loss.
The Pirates are scheduled to return to action Wednesday in a 6 p.m. home game against Norfolk State.