ECU roundup: Pirates fall to Matadors in baseball|ECU basketball teams fall in tourney

Published 4:11 am Thursday, March 11, 2010

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Drew Muren’s grand slam in the fourth inning proved to be the difference as Cal State Northridge defeated No. 10 East Carolina 5-3 Wednesday afternoon at Matador Field.
Trailing 2-1 heading to the bottom half of the fourth inning, Muren lifted a 1-1 offering from Shawn Armstrong to right field giving the Matadors' (6-5) the lead for good at 5-2. C.J. Belanger singled to center with one out then took second on Nate Ring’s infield single and ended up on third when TS Reed drew a walk before Muren cleared the bases with his second homer of the season.
In the top of the ninth, the Pirates (7-4) threatened when Devin Harris stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. John Wooten reached on a throwing error by Reed landing on second. Corey Thompson drew his second walk of the afternoon and Cam Freeman was plunked by Jimmy Jolicoeur to load the bases for Harris, who grounded into a double play to third scoring Wooten and cutting the lead to two, 5-3. Jolicoeur recorded the final out getting Austin Homan to ground out to second for his second save of the season.
Billy Ott picked up his first win of the season after working six innings of shutout relief where he allowed three hits, two walks and tied his career-high with seven strikeouts. CSUN starter Bennett Parry allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits with two walks in 1.1 innings.
Armstrong, who was making his third appearance of the season and first start, went five innings allowing five runs (all earned) on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Sthil Sowers scattered two hits over three shutout innings of relief with three strikeouts.
ECU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first when Trent Whitehead scored when Kyle Roller attempted to steal second base. Whitehead led off with a single up the middle before taking second before Dustin Harrington extended his hit streak to 19 games with a base knock through the left side. Roller reached on a fielder’s choice pushing Whitehead to third before scoring the game’s first run.
CSUN answered with a run in the bottom half of the frame, knotting the game a one. With two outs Ryan Pineda reached first after being hit by Armstrong then scored on D’Anna Dominic’s double to left center.
Freeman put the Pirates up 2-1 in the second when he crossed home on Harris’ ground out to first base. Freeman walked with one out, move to second on a failed pick off by Parry and then took third on a wild pitch.
Offensively the Pirates were held to five hits with Harrington leading the way with a pair of hits.
The Pirates will be back in action today when they take on Pepperdine in the first of three games at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
Post-Game Notes:
Dustin Harrington extended his current hitting streak to 19 games with a single through the left side during the first inning.
Chris Gosik made his first collegiate start in left field going 0-for-1 from the plate.
Devin Harris drove in two runs picking up his 25th multi-RBI game.
The Pirates drop to 0-7 all-time when playing games in the state of California and have a 5-8 all-time record against teams from the state of California.
Houston easily defeats East Carolina
TULSA, Okla. — The most dangerous man in a fight, said Houston coach Tom Penders, is one that thinks he is already dead. He has nothing to lose.
That’s the attitude Penders wants his Cougars to take into their Conference USA quarterfinal matchup with Memphis on Thursday, after Houston eliminated East Carolina 93-80 in the first round Wednesday.
Aubrey Coleman scored 29 points, three above his nation-leading average, and Kelvin Lewis added 15 to pace the Cougars (16-15).
Houston made 13 of 26 3-pointers, shot 47 percent and had 19 assists against five turnovers.
Houston and Memphis split two regular season meetings, with Houston winning 92-75 at home and losing 92-77 at Memphis.
‘‘According to (some people), Memphis is already in the tournament,’’ Penders said. ‘‘They don’t have anything to worry about. We’ve got everything to play for.’’
Brock Young scored 24 points to lead East Carolina (10-21) in the final game for coach Mack McCarthy, who is taking an administration job at the school. East Carolina has yet to name a new coach.
‘‘This game was a lot like our season,’’ said McCarthy, who went 34-57 in three seasons. ‘‘We had some really good moments and didn’t give up. But there were stretches where we made a lot of mistakes and you can’t overcome that. …
‘‘We had Coleman guarded as well as you can a few times, and he still makes shots. There’s a reason all those guys with NBA logos are down at the end watching.’’
Houston led 78-52 with 11:44 to play before Penders began to run clock and empty his bench. East Carolina crept within 88-78 with 3:49 to play, forcing Houston to call timeout and put its starters back in the game. East Carolina got as close as 89-80 before Coleman scored his final basket on a layup with a minute left.
‘‘We stayed real vanilla,’’ Penders said. ‘‘Hopefully we saved a few things for tomorrow.’’
Darrius Morrow added 22 points for the Pirates, and Erin Straughn had 12.
The Pirates shot 58 percent in the first half, but still trailed 50-37 as Houston hit seven 3-pointers and Coleman scored 16 points. The Pirates shot 54.9 percent overall.
‘‘It’s one of the few times I’ve had a team shoot over 50 percent and lose,’’ McCarthy said. ‘‘We had too many turnovers and gave up too many second-chance points.’’
Houston led 36-32 late in the first half before going on a 14-5 run in the final three minutes.
Sean Coleman, who started his career at Tulsa, hit two early 3-pointers in the second half as the Cougars pushed the lead to 58-39. Sean Coleman finished with 11 points and Desmond Wade added 13.
Morrow 7-8 8-12 22, Abrams 2-3 0-0 6, Young 8-15 6-7 24, Straughn 5-11 0-0 12, Sherrod 2-5 0-0 5, Gaines 1-1 1-2 3, Ellison 1-3 2-2 4, Joyner 2-5 0-2 4. Totals 28-51 17-25 80.
HOUSTON (16-15)
S.Coleman 4-7 0-1 11, Washington 3-6 0-1 6, Lewis 5-12 4-5 15, Wade 4-4 2-2 13, A.Coleman 9-20 7-11 29, Nixon 0-3 0-2 0, McNeil 4-7 3-3 11, Haywood 0-2 0-0 0, Clark 0-0 0-0 0, Broughton 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Van Slyke 2-4 2-2 8. Totals 31-66 18-27 93.
Halftime—Houston 50-37. 3-Point Goals—East Carolina 7-17 (Abrams 2-3, Young 2-5, Straughn 2-7, Sherrod 1-1, Ellison 0-1), Houston 13-26 (A.Coleman 4-6, Wade 3-3, S.Coleman 3-4, Van Slyke 2-4, Lewis 1-5, Nixon 0-1, Brown 0-1, Haywood 0-2). Fouled Out—Abrams. Rebounds—East Carolina 36 (Joyner 8), Houston 31 (McNeil 8). Assists—East Carolina 15 (Young 5), Houston 19 (Wade 7). Total Fouls—East Carolina 21, Houston 19. Technical—Sherrod.
No. 1 seed Tulane ousts ECU
TULSA, Okla. – The fifth-seeded East Carolina women's basketball team fell victim to a hot shooting top-seeded Tulane squad Wednesday, falling 73-64 in the first semifinal of the 2010 GMC Sierra Conference USA Women's Basketball Tournament at the Reynolds Center. The loss snapped a five-game C-USA Tournament winning streak for the Lady Pirates inside the facility.
"I would just like to say that Tulane has a great basketball team and should be considered for the NCAA Tournament, regardless if they win the conference tourney or not," head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener stated. "They are the best defensive team that we have played all season. I was especially proud of the way our freshmen stepped in and really gave us a lift in the second half. I think our season deserves to continue in the WNIT."
The Green Wave (25-6) jumped out to an 18-8 lead, but ECU (22-10) would go on a 15-2 run to pull within 23-20 at the 6:03 mark. However, a Roshaunda Barnes layup sparked a 18-7 spurt to end the half for Tulane as the regular season champions took a 41-27 advantage into the break.
Chareya Smith put in seven points to lead the Lady Pirates in the first 20 minutes, while Kim Gay recorded six rebounds. Smith and Gay combined to shoot 5-for-9 from the field in the half. The Green Wave shot a crisp 53.6 percent while allowing East Carolina 40.7. Tulane also held the advantage on the glass, 20-14.
The Green Wave stretched the lead to 18 in the first four minutes of the second period as Tiffany Aidoo nailed consecutive triples. At the 15:19 mark, Baldwin-Tener subbed in all four freshman and they brought a renewed energy to the Lady Pirate side as they trimmed the deficit to 14.
With Tulane leading 69-50 and time winding down, ECU rallied, scoring eight-straight points and using a Caitlin Thys jumper to make the score 69-58 with 1:36 remaining. Ashley Clarke drained a mid-range shot with two seconds left to make the final margin of victory just nine for the Green Wave.
Thys scored nine points in the tilt, a career-high in a Lady Pirate uniform, while Allison Spivey matched that output on the strength of a trio of three-point field goals. Spivey now owns the single-season ECU record for made triples with 62.
Gay led the Lady Pirates in rebounding with eight, while making four of her eight field goal attempts to finish with eight points. Additionally, freshman Celeste Stewart handed out a team-high four assists.
With East Carolina's C-USA Tournament run now complete, the Lady Pirates will await the WNIT selections on Monday, March 15 to see if their season will continue. The selection committee will announce the 64-team field late that evening.