Golden Eagles swoop in for win over No. 1 Pirates|Host Southern Miss stages dramatic comeback
The Pirates couldnt hold on against the Golden Eagles, who were playing in front of a home crowd at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, Miss., ev
Published 9:55 pm Friday, May 22, 2009
The Pirates couldnt hold on against the Golden Eagles, who were playing in front of a home crowd at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, Miss., eventually folding to Conference USA tournament host Southern Miss 5-2 in second-round action.
East Carolina wasted a strong starting effort from All-American sophomore Seth Maness, who didnt give up a run until surrendering a two-run blast to Golden Eagles No. 8 hitter B.A. Vollmuth with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The home run knotted the score at 2-2 before the Golden Eagles broke the game open in the eighth with three more runs.
Maness was saddled with all five Southern Miss runs after he was taken out with the bases-loaded and one out in the eighth. Maness gave way to Seth Simmons, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Southern Miss designated hitter Corey Stevens. With two outs and runners on second and third, Simmons surrendered a two-run single to Golden Eagles first baseman Joey Archer.
On the night, Maness went seven-plus innings, giving up five runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
But Maness got little help from his teammates on offense as he was cruising through the first six innings.
The Pirates looked poised for another offense surge after scoring a run in the first and third innings, but had several rallies killed on double-play balls.
In the top of the first inning, ECU leadoff hitter and former Pam Pack great Trent Whitehead reached on a fielding error by the Southern Miss shortstop. Ryan Wood followed with a single up the middle, advancing Whitehead to second. Whitehead and Wood advanced to second and third on a foul out by Stephen Batts, before cleanup hitter Kyle Roller was intentionally walked. Henderson drove Whitehead in for the first run of the game on a fielders choice.
Whitehead ended a rally in the top of the second.
Drew Schieber singled through the right side to leadoff the inning and advanced to second on a passed ball. Starting catcher Jared Avchen sent a single to right, advancing Schieber to third. Whitehead followed by grounding into an inning-ending double play.
The top of the third started off just a promising for the Pirates. Wood was hit by a pitch, before Batts hit a line drive single through the left side of the infield, but Roller followed with another momentum killing double play.
Henderson followed Rollers double play with an RBI double, scoring Wood. It would be the last run of the game for the Pirates.
ECU returns to action at 1:30 p.m. today, as it takes on Tulane, who lost to Southern Miss in the Conference USA tournaments opening round on Wednesday. The winner of that game will come back and play the host Golden Eagles at 8:30 p.m., while the loser will be knocked out of the double-elimination tournament.