Pirates can’t get over hump against Camels

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — A late rally by the No. 17 East Carolina Pirates came up short, as they fell 12-7 to the Campbell Camels.
The loss, coming on a wet Tuesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium, was ECU’s fifth in its last six games. The game was shortened to seven innings because of persistent rain.
Ellis Lowe had four hits and drove in four, while Zach Johnson smacked three hits and knocked in four to lead the Camels (17-15). Lowe ripped a three-run homer in the second and Johnson smacked a three-run shot in the fourth to help give the Camels a 12-4 lead.
The Pirates (26-10) got three runs in the seventh on a two-run homer by Dustin Harrington and an RBI-single by Trent Whitehead to pull within 12-7, but that’s as close as ECU would get.
ECU used five pitchers in the game. Starter Mike Anderson (0-1) got shelled, allowing six runs on six hits in just 1 1/3 innings. Patrick Somers, who threw two innings of two-hit ball, and Chocowinity product Britton Cole (one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning) were the only effective Pirates on the hill.
Whitehead, the Conference USA hits-leader, tied a career-high with four hits. Harrington ripped two home runs and drove in three.
Johnson’s two-out blooper into center, the third of three first-inning singles, gave Campbell a 1-0 lead.
ECU responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half. Ryan Wood, who set the school record with his 130th career walk in the sixth, and Stephen Batts ripped consecutive doubles, while Brandon Henderson’s poke into right scored Batts for a 2-1 lead.
Lowe’s three-run blast in a five-run second inning chased Anderson and gave the Camels a 6-2 advantage.
Harrington belted a solo shot, while Whitehead singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the second to pull ECU within 6-4.
Johnson greeted reliever Sthil Sowers, ECU’s third pitcher, with a three-run blast, his club-leading 10th of the year, in the fourth. Graham Fronk added an RBI double that Batts lost in the lights, giving the Camels a 10-4 advantage.
Carlton Floyd’s run-scoring single in the fifth and Lowe’s RBI rap in the seventh extended the Campbell lead to 12-4.
Harrington’s second home run of the game and sixth of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh, pulled ECU within 12-6. After Zach Wright hit his first career triple, Whitehead slapped his fourth hit of the game to make it 12-7.
Kyle Roller smashed a leadoff home run in the eighth and the Pirates loaded the bases with nobody out, but that’s when the umpires decided to call the game because of inclement weather.
Jonathon Lopez (2-3) was credited with the win.
ECU plays host to the N.C. State Wolfpack in a 6 p.m. game today. The Pirates posted a 14-4 victory over the Wolfpack in Raleigh on April 1 behind Whitehead’s two home runs.
ECU returns to Conference USA play this weekend with a three-game series at Tulane.