April 22, 2006
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GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina's Ryan Tousley hit a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Pirates to a 10-9 win over the Marshall baseball team Saturday night in front of 2,685 spectators at water-logged Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C. It marked the second-consecutive night East Carolina rallied in the bottom of the ninth to earn a league victory over the Thundering Herd.
Marshall's Chris Monaco (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) earned his second career four-hit game, going 4-for-4 while reaching base in all five of his plate appearances. Brit Vincent (Jr., Bowling Green, Ky.) had three hits, including two doubles. ECU's Brandon Henderson went 3-for-3 and reached base all five times for the Pirates. He is now 8-for-8 and has reached base in all 10 of his plate appearances in the series.
Nick Wolle (Jr., Coatesville, Pa.) was saddled with the loss after giving up four earned runs in 1.1 innings. He dropped to 0-5 this season. Kevin Rhodes (3-1) got the last out of the ninth to earn the victory.
Brian Chrisman (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) started and pitched well for Marshall, tossing six innings and allowing four runs (three earned), five hits and five walks. He also struck out three. East Carolina starter Dustin Sasser fired 6.2 innings, giving up three runs (two earned), six hits and a walk while striking out three.
The game was delayed five and a half hours by rain before Marshall (16-19, 4-10 C-USA) took a 1-0 lead in the first. Monaco led off with a single on the game's first pitch and moved up on an Adam Frederick
(Sr., Franklin, Pa.) sacrifice bunt. Monaco advanced to third on the play when first baseman Stephen Batts' throw to second sailed into left field. Monaco scampered home on a Rich Russell
(Sr., Toronto, Ontario) groundout.
Both teams posted a run in the fourth inning. Marshall scored when Brendan Murphy (Jr., Chattanooga, Tenn.) hit into a double play to score Russell, and East Carolina responded in its half when Ryan Wood homered to right center field on the first pitch of the inning.
The Thundering Herd got the run back in the fifth inning, as Vincent doubled to lead off, moved to third on an Adam Ptacek (Sr., Assaria, Kan.) sacrifice and scored on an Aaron Levinson (Sr., Seattle, Wash.) squeeze bunt.
In the sixth inning, Chrisman walked the first two batters, Jay Mattox and Wood, and the runners advanced on a groundout. Dale Mollenhauer brought Mattox home on a sacrifice fly. After a Russell passed ball allowed Wood to move to third, the Herd intentionally walked Henderson. Henderson then attempted to steal second, and when the throw went to second, Wood came home with the tying run as Henderson was caught in a rundown.
The Pirates (27-14, 6-5) claimed the lead in the seventh inning, as Batts led off with a home run to right-center field. Chrisman's night came to an end, as he was pulled for Brian Knippelmeyer (Sr., Lincoln, Neb.). The Pirates loaded the bases with one out, but Knippelmeyer struck out Wood and Andrew Blain (Fr., Huntington, W.Va.) induced Adam Witter to fly out.
The lead see-sawed again in the top of the eighth. Monaco hustled out an infield single to lead off against Josh Dowdy, and Frederick followed with a two-run shot to right field to give Marshall a 5-4 lead. The Herd continued to tack on against reliever Shane Mathews, as Vincent beat out a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop, scoring Murphy. The throw to first was errant, allowing Brent Mason (Sr., Sherwood, Ark.) to also cross the plate and give Marshall a 7-4 advantage.
East Carolina struck for three runs to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Brendon Bump (Sr., Lawrence, Kan.) hit Henderson and walked Batts. Wolle came in and struck out Tousley and then tossed a wild pitch. Drew Schieber followed with a bloop single to right center to score two. After a soft single to center by Harrison Eldridge, Mattox ripped a double to score Schieber with the tying run, but Eldridge was gunned down at the plate on a Ptacek-Mason-Russell relay.
Marshall broke the tie in the ninth. With two outs, Frederick singled to center. On the ensuing pitch, Russell crushed a two-run homer to left field to give Marshall a 9-7 lead.
Wolle retired the first two batters of the ninth inning before Mollenhauer, Henderson and Batts hit consecutive singles to cut the deficit to one. Tousley followed with a double to the wall in left to score Henderson and Batts and lift the Pirates to the 10-9 win.
The series concludes with a noon contest Sunday.