ECU falls to Southern Miss

Published 9:11 pm Friday, April 29, 2011

GREENVILLE  — Ashley Graeter recorded RBI singles in the seventh and ninth innings lifting No. 15 Southern Miss (31-10, 10-3) to a 3-1 win over No. 29 East Carolina (27-15, 8-8) Friday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.

With the game tied at one in the seventh inning, Graeter singled up the middle with two outs scoring Adam Doleac from second base for the go-ahead and would be game winning run. Doleac was hit by pitch to start the frame and took second on Jared Bales single through the left side before coming home on Graeter’s first hit of the contest.

Geoffrey Thomas (9-2) picked up the win allowing one run (earned) on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout in 6.1 innings. Chase Horn surrendered a pair of hits in one inning of scoreless relief before Collin Cargill closed the door with his eighth save of the year after working 1.2 innings.

Mike Wright (4-3) suffered the loss despite pitching well where he allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with a walk and six punch outs in 6.2 innings. Brad Mincey allowed a run (earned) on three hits in 2.1 innings of relief.

Southern Miss jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the third inning on Tyler Koelling’s RBI single to left field. Graeter reached on a throwing error by John Wooten at third during a bunt attempt and landed on second base to start the frame. Kameron Brunty moved Graeter to third on a sac bunt to third and Koelling’s lone hit of the night scored the Golden Eagles first run.

Zach Wright’s two-out RBI single tied the game at one in the bottom of the fifth inning. Trent Whitehead drew a one-out walk and took second on Jack Reinheimer’s ground out deep to short. Wright took a first pitch offering to left field pushing across Whitehead for ECU’s lone run of the game.

Graeter’s second two-out RBI of the evening came in the ninth scoring Justin Dillberto for a 3-1 advantage. Bales singled up the middle with one out before Dillberto came in to pinch run and took second on Mark Ellis’ ground out to third. After a wild pitch moved Dillberto to third, Graeter singled up the middle to cap the scoring.

ECU out hit Southern Miss 10-8 in the game and had several chances to score on the night leaving 10 runners on base. With runners on first and second and one out, Southern Miss brought Cargill in from the bullpen and he immediately induced a 1-6-3 double play on his second pitch of the game to get out of the jam. An inning later with Whitehead on first for the Pirates, Cargill got Reinheimer to ground into a 6-4-3 game ending double play.

The Pirates and Golden Eagles will continue the series Saturday afternoon with a 3 p.m. (EDT) first pitch scheduled. ECU will send left-hander Kevin Brandt (5-1, 1.61 ERA) to the hill against right-hander Jonathan Thompson (5-0, 3.42 ERA).

Prior to Saturday’s game, which has been designated as Letterwinner’s Day, members of the 1961 NAIA Championship team will be on hand to throw out the games first pitch. Nine former players will be on hand from the championship squad for the pre-game festivities along with Betty Mallory, Jane West and Joanne Bynum.