ECU baseball tops Tulane, softball sweeps Memphis

Published 3:57 pm Sunday, April 19, 2009

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
NEW ORLEANS, La. — No. 17 East Carolina (28-11, 10-4) used a pair of three run home runs from Devin Harris and Ryan Wood to swing past Tulane (21-17, 4-7) 12-5 in game two of a three-game Conference USA series Saturday afternoon at Greer Field inside Turchin Stadium.
Seth Maness (5-0) picked up his fifth win of the season going 5 2/3 innings where he allowed five runs (all earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts. The Pinehurst native scattered just two hits over five innings before being saddled with five runs on five hits in the sixth. Sophomore Seth Simmons, who recorded his sixth save of the season, entered the game in the sixth with two outs and forced Matt Ryan into a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Simmons would go on to allow just two hits in 3 2/3 innings with a pair of punch outs.
Aaron Loop (1-3) lasted just two innings surrendering six runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts before being lifted for Taylor Rogers, who allowed four runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. Ryan Doiron gave up a pair of runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning, while Mason Griffin worked two scoreless frames to end the game.
Devin Harris capped a four-run inning with his 10th home run of the season, a three-run shot to left center in the first inning. Ryan Wood drew his fourth walk of the series with one out then took second when Brandon Henderson was plunked by a Loup breaking ball. Kyle Roller followed with a RBI single to left that scored Wood from second. Harris cleared the bases on a 2-2 offering that went to left center putting ECU up 4-0.
Dustin Harrington hit a shot off the scoreboard in left center putting the Pirates up 5-0 in the second inning. For Harrington it was his seventh homer of the season and third of the week (two vs. Campbell).
The Pirates upped their lead to six, 6-0, in the third when Harrington grounded into a bases loaded double-play that scored Stephen Batts from third.
Batts continued the Pirate offensive assault driving in Henderson from second on a RBI single to right center putting ECU up 7-0 in the fourth. With two down, Henderson singled to left then promptly stole second just before Roller drew walk putting runners on first and second for Batts’ at-bat.
ECU pushed its lead to eight, 8-0, in the sixth on Harris’ sac fly to left that platted Henderson.
Tulane finally got the sticks going in the bottom half the sixth scoring five runs on five hits cutting the lead to three, 8-5. Ryan led off with a single up the middle, which was followed by another single from Josh Prince putting runners at second and third, when Prince moved to second on a fielding error by Batts. After Maness fanned Scott Powell, Sam Honeck doubled down the right field line scoring both Ryan and Prince. Jeremy Schaffer flied out to left moving Honeck over to third. Drew Allain put runners on the corners when he was plunked by a Maness fastball. Seth Henry followed with a double down the left field line scoring Honeck before Evan Mistich roped a two-RBI single to left to cap the scoring at five.
ECU responded to the Waves five runs with four of their own thanks to a towering three-run shot by Wood that hit off the top of the score board and a Harris RBI single to right pushing the lead to 12-5.
The Pirates and Wave will be back in action for the rubber-match of the three-game series today with a first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
Softball earnssweep of Memphis
Bibee drives in game-winner in second game
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — Timely hitting and solid pitching performances by Toni Paisley and Brooke Swann led East Carolina to a pair of victories over Memphis on Saturday afternoon. The Pirates (33-11, 16-4 C-USA) won the first game 2-0 and used a walk-off single from Sarah Bibee to take the second contest 2-1. ECU has now won its last five games against Memphis (20-24, 5-12 C-USA).
In the opener, Kaui Tom and Charina Sumner had RBI singles to drive in the Pirates’ two runs. Paisley picked up her eighth solo shutout of the season in the win as she allowed just four hits and struck out seven. In the second game, Swann pitched five solid innings, surrendering just one run on six hits. Paisley, 25-6, came in for the final two innings and earned the victory.
Through the first four-and-a-half innings of the opener, Paisley and Memphis starter Janella Valle, 7-10 this season, pitched around base runners and kept the game scoreless. Both teams put at least one runner on in each of the first four-and-a-half frames and combined to leave eight on base.
In the bottom of the fifth, East Carolina broke through and scored its only runs. Christina Merrida led off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout by Paisley and scored on Tom’s line drive single that went just off the end of the third baseman’s glove. A groundout by Angel Barrella moved Tom to third base and Sumner followed with a single, driving in Tom for the 2-0 advantage.
Memphis went down in order in the sixth and seventh innings to preserve the Pirate victory.
After Swann struck out the side in the top of the first of the second contest, ECU had an opportunity to score in the bottom of the frame but could not convert. Barrella led off with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error by the right fielder. A wild pitch moved Barrella to third but a groundout, strikeout and fly out ended the threat.
The Tigers put a runner on second with no outs in the top of the third, but could not score. Brittany Gooch reached on a bunt single and then stole second base. Swann struck out Jessica Phillips and then Leandra Hines attempted to bunt, but was called out for touching the ball out of the batter’s box. Leila Dolfo singled to left field and Gooch attempted to score on the hit but Marina Gusman-Brown threw her out at the plate to keep the game scoreless. It was Gusman-Brown’s third outfield assist of the season.
In the bottom of the third, East Carolina had the scoring chance but did not push one across. Tiffany Shaw led off with an infield single and Barrella walked. A Sumner sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out. Jessica Johnson then drew her second walk of the afternoon to fill the bases with one out. Cristen Aona hit a deep fly to center field for the second out and Barrella was caught too far off second base on the play and was doubled off to end the inning.
Lelani Bernardino led off the Memphis half of the fourth with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a groundout by Tori Gross. Swann then retired Leigh Rowan on a groundout and Maddie McKinley on a foul pop that Aona dove and caught.
The Pirates had another chance to score in the bottom of the fourth but could not capitalize. Gusman-Brown led off and reached second after the shortstop threw the ball out of play. Bibee bunted Gusman-Brown over to third and Merrida followed with a ground ball to the pitcher. Gusman-Brown broke home on contact and was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning. Tom singled to right and Merrida advanced to third on the hit but Shaw popped out to the second baseman to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.
In the bottom of the fifth East Carolina loaded the bases with two outs on singles by Johnson and Aona and Gusman-Brown being hit by a pitch. Bibee then struck out to end the threat.
After the defensive stop, Memphis broke the scoreless tie in the top of the sixth with a run as Dolfo led off with a double, moved to third on a single by Bernardino and scored on a single by Gross. After the Gross single, Paisley came in and struck out the next three hitters to end the threat.
ECU picked up its second walk-off win of the week when it scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Sumner started the rally with an infield single. Johnson then put down a bunt and the Memphis pitcher’s throw pulled the second baseman off the bag, allowing Johnson to reach and advancing Sumner all the way to third. Jillian Gallagher came in as a pinch runner for Johnson and stole second base, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Aona popped out to the shortstop for the first out but Gusman-Brown singled to plate Sumner and tie the game. Bibee then stroked a single to right the drove in Gallagher for the winning run.
The Pirate will go for the series sweep today at 11:30 a.m.