East Carolina Rallies in Ninth to Eke Past Marshall Baseball, 10-9|
April 21, 2006
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina scored two runs in the ninth inning to cap an eight-run rally and knock off the Marshall baseball team, 10-9, Friday night in front of 3,159 fans at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C.
Marshall entered the ninth with a 9-8 lead, but East Carolina rallied against Nick Wolle (Jr., Coatesville, Pa.). Jake Dean led off with a single. Drew Schieber pinch ran and moved up on a sacrifice bunt. Brandon Henderson notched his fifth hit of the game and scored Schieber with a single to right field. Stephen Batts followed with another single and Harrison Eldridge was intentionally walked to load the bases. Jay Mattox followed with a high chopper that first baseman Roddy Stieger (Sr., West Chester, Ohio) leaped for but could not corral, allowing Henderson to score with the winning run.
Wolle (0-4) took the defeat, while ECU reliever Jason Neitz (2-0) earned the win.
Adam Ptacek (Sr., Assaria, Kan.) hit a grand slam for Marshall, while Stieger, Brendan Murphy (Jr., Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Aaron Levinson (Sr., Seattle, Wash.) each had two hits for the Thundering Herd. Henderson finished 5-for-5 with three RBI for East Carolina.
Marshall starter Jeremy Slone (Jr., Paintsville, Ky.) lasted 5.2 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned), 12 hits and a walk while striking out two. Marshall lit up East Carolina ace T.J. Hose for seven earned runs and five hits in just 1.2 innings.
For the second-consecutive C-USA game, the Herd (16-18, 4-9 C-USA) exploded for eight runs in the second inning. Stieger was hit by a pitch to lead off and scored after back-to-back singles by Murphy and Brent Mason (Sr., Sherwood, Ark). Brit Vincent (Jr., Bowling Green, Ky.) followed with a walk to load the bases. Ptacek followed with his first career grand slam to right center to give Marshall a 5-0 lead.
The Herd kept piling on in the second, as Levinson followed with a single. After Chris Monaco (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) grounded into a fielder's choice and Adam Frederick (Sr., Franklin, Pa.) flew out to center, Rich Russell (Sr., Toronto, Ontario) coaxed a walk, forcing a pitching change as the Pirates removed Hose in favor of Scott Andrews. Marshall continued the offensive onslaught against Andrews, as Stieger hit a run-scoring double down the left field line. Murphy capped the scoring with a two-run single to right field, giving Marshall an 8-0 advantage.
The Pirates (26-14, 5-5) put three on the board in the third inning. The first three batters reached base, with Mattox ending the streak with an RBI single, and the two runners moved up on a fielding error by Monaco. Dale Mollenhauer followed with an RBI groundout and Adam Witter had a sacrifice fly to cut the Herd lead to five, 8-3.
ECU continued to chip away at the lead in the fifth inning. After two singles, Wood hit a three-run home run to left field to cut the Marshall lead to 8-6.
Marshall added a run in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Frederick to score Levinson, but the Pirates came right back in the bottom of the inning on a solo home run by Henderson.
The Pirates scored a run in the seventh on Henderson's fourth hit of the game, an RBI single to left an 0-2 pitch off Brian Knippelmeyer (Sr., Lincoln, Neb.).
ECU had a golden opportunity to snatch the lead in the eighth inning against Chris Koutsavlis (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.). Eldridge led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on a balk. After a Mattox groundout, Mollenhauer drew a walk, but Koutsavlis responded by fanning Witter. Nick Wolle (Jr., Coatesville, Pa.) replaced Koutsavlis and coaxed Ryan Wood to ground into a fielder's choice to second.
The two teams are back in action at 1 p.m. Saturday. Please note the game time has changed from the original 6 p.m. starting time because of the high threat of inclement weather Saturday night.