By David Williams
Published in Sports on May 31, 2004 1:55 PM
HOUSTON, Texas - TCU's Chad Huffman collected four hits and Robbie Findlay tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings as the fourth-seeded Horned Frogs eliminated No. 1 seed East Carolina, 10-4, in an elimination game in the Sterling Bank Conference USA Tournament at Cougar Field.
Trevor Lawhorn finished 2-for-4 to lead the Pirates (48-11) who dropped their second straight game.
Findlay relieved starter Chad Underwood in the fifth and struck out seven, holding ECU to only two hits the rest of the game. Mike Flye suffered his third loss of the season giving up four earned runs on three hits and striking out two.
TCU broke open a tied ball game in the bottom of the sixth. Huffman singled to left field to get the Horned Frogs started with two outs. Austin Adams was hit by a pitch giving TCU to baserunners. Shelby Ford then hit a pop fly that managed to fall in for an infield single scoring both runs putting the Horned Frogs ahead, 6-4. Chris Neuman drew a walk before Kyle Dahlberg doubled in two more runs for an 8-4 TCU lead.
J.J. Estrada and Neuman each hit solo home run to make for the final score.
Shelby Ford's two-out double put the Horned Frogs on top, 2-0, in the bottom of the first.
East Carolina came within, 2-1, in the top of the second when Drew Costanzo scored on a wild pitch from third base.
TCU pushed across another run in the bottom of the second to take a 3-1 lead. D.J. Pokluda doubled to right center and scored on Ramon Moses' base hit.
East Carolina used a three-run third to take its first lead of the game, 4-3. Jamie Paige and Billy Richardson both were hit by a pitch with two outs. Paige scored on a single by Ryan Jones. Richardon crossed home on a passed ball tying the game, 3-3. Costanzo drove in Jones for ECU's only lead of the game.
TCU tied the game, 4-4, on Bo Cogbill's RBI single in the bottom of the fourth.
Shane Mathews started the game for the Pirates. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits through 3 2/3 innings and struck out two. Ricky Brooks tossed 1 1/3 innings in relief and Phillip Powell pitched the final inning for East Carolina.
The Pirates now await their destination and the field of 64 for the NCAA Tournament. Regional sites will be announced Sunday afternoon at approximately 3:10 p.m. (EST) on ESPN. The 64-team field will be announced Monday afternoon at 12 p.m. (EST) on ESPN2.
East Carolina has put in a bid to host a regional site in Kinston, N.C. June 4-6.
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