05/13/04 — College baseball

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College baseball

By David Williams
Published in Sports on May 13, 2004 2:52 PM

Pirates roll on over Wolfpack

KINSTON -- Kevin Rhodes tossed 3 2/3 innings and No. 5 East Carolina turned five double plays as the Pirates defeated N.C. State 7-2, Wednesday night at Grainger Stadium in front of a season-high 3,510 fans.

Darryl Lawhorn and Jamie each added a pair of hits for the Pirates (43-7), who have won 24 of their last 25 games.

Mark Minicozzi hit his ninth home run of the season to spark a three-run second inning and ECU never looked back. Matt Camp led NC State going 2-for-4. Four ECU pitchers held the Wolfpack to two runs on four hits.

Minicozzi hit his ninth home run in the bottom of the third, giving ECU a 2-0 lead. Jamie Paige drove in another run as the Pirates went ahead 3-0.

ECU pushed across two more runs in the bottom of third when Drew Costanzo and Jake Smith each drove in a run extending ECU's lead to 5-0.

N.C. State came within 5-2 in the top of the fourth. Matt Camp singled to lead off the inning. Jason St. Julien, David Hicks and Mike Jensen all followed with walks with Jensen bringing in the first Wolfpack run. Lee Mezistrano reached on a fielder's choice to make it 5-2.

ECU's sixth run came on a questionable passed ball. After Darryl Lawhorn singled and Ryan Norwood hit his 22nd double of the season tying the school record along with Ryan Jones, Minicozzi check swung on an 0-2 count but home plate umpire Steve Sanders ruled it a passed ball allowing Darryl Lawhorn to score.

Mike Flye and Ricky Brooks then combined to hold the Wolfpack scoreless over the last 2 1/3 innings retiring seven of the last nine NC State batters.

The Pirates host TCU this weekend for a three-game Conference USA series. Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday's game is at 2 p.m. while Sunday's finale is set for 12 p.m.

Trojan players still rank with nation's best

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College baseball players Craig Hurba and Steve Parrish continue to rank among the nation's leaders in multiple offensive categories, while pitchers Weston Curles and Ricky Duke are once again among the nation's pitching leaders in this week's NCAA Division II Baseball Statistics Report.

Parrish, a senior right fielder from Fremont, ranks ninth in home runs per game with a 0.37 average. He finished the season with 19 home runs, the second-highest single-season total in Mount Olive history and the eighth-highest total in the nation this season. Parrish is tied for 17th in runs batted in per game with a 1.37 average and his .823 slugging percentage is the 15th-highest in the nation.

Hurba, a senior catcher from Maryland, N.Y., is tied for 21st in the nation in home runs per game, averaging 0.31 per contest. He jumped five spots to No. 9 in runs batted in per game with a 1.44 average and his 75 RBI's are tied for the seventh-highest total in the nation. Hurba's .765 slugging percentage ranks No. 24 in the nation.

Hurba and Parrish (71 RBI) are among only 14 players in the nation to surpass the 70-RBI mark.

Curles, a sophomore left-hander from Hertford, ranks No. 34 with a 2.36 earned run average. Curles finished the season with a 4-0 record in his last four starts, including a complete-game victory over Erskine at the CVAC baseball tournament. Curles allowed only one earned run in the contest that sent the Trojans into the tournament championship game.

Duke, a junior right-hander from Grove City, Ohio, is tied for fifth in the nation in wins with 11. His .917 winning percentage (11-1) is tied for the fourth-highest among pitchers with at least 10 decisions. Duke went 2-0 at the CVAC Baseball Tournament, including a complete game victory over top-seeded and nationally 12th-ranked Pfeiffer in the championship game. Duke was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Mount Olive also ranks among the nation's leaders in a pair of team statistics. The Trojans rank No. 25 in scoring with an average of 8.0 runs per game. Mount Olive's .712 winning percentage is the 21st-highest in the nation.

Mount Olive finished the season with a record of 37-15 and the Trojans claimed their fifth CVAC championship as they went undefeated in the CVAC Tournament April 23-25. Mount Olive was denied a bid to the South Atlantic Regional in the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship when selections were announced Monday.