By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on May 29, 2005 2:08 AM
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Back-to-back doubles in the seventh put Houston on top for good as the Cougars eliminated ECU from the 2005 C-USA Tournament with a 6-4 victory over the Pirates Friday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park.
East Carolina drops to 35-24 overall with the loss while Houston evens their season mark at 29-29.
Travis Tully, Kevin Roberts and Dustin Kingsbury all finished with three hits on the day for Houston while Bryan Tully had two. Kingsbury finished with three RBI and Travis Tully plated two runs to lead Houston.
Offensively for ECU, Dale Mollenhauer was the lone Pirate with multiple hits, going 2-for-5 on the day. Mike Grace went 1-for-4, leading the club with two RBI and two runs scored.
Cougar starter Matt Farrington tossed 72/3 innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on just six hits, while walking one and striking out four. Gene Flores relieved Farrington, pitching an inning while allowing an unearned run before Cougar closer Justin Vaclavik picked up his 12th save of the season retiring one batter in the ninth.
Ricky Brooks went seven innings on the mound for ECU, allowing four runs, three earned, on 11 hits while striking out six. Kevin Rhodes came on in relief of Brooks, allowing two runs on two hits in 12/3 innings. Scott Andrews faced two batters in the ninth, allowing a hit and a walk.
Houston got on the board early with a run in the top of the first. With runners on the corners and one out, Kingsbury singled through the left side, scoring Travis Tully.
A Chris Joseph RBI groundout brought home Bryan Tully from third for the Cougar's second run of the game in the top of the second.
Grace tied the game up in the bottom half of the second with a two-run homer off the scoreboard in left.
The Pirates took the lead in the fifth when Billy Richardson scored from third on a fielding error by Cougar third baseman Bryan Pounds on a Mollenhauer grounder.
Travis Tully's RBI double to right in the seventh tied the game up at three when Brett Logan scored from third, sliding just under the tag of Adam Witter at home. The second consecutive Cougar double off the bat of Roberts scored Travis Tully for the go-ahead run.
Houston added a run in the eighth when Kingsbury hit a solo homer down the line in left, pushing the Cougar lead to two.
Kingsbury's third hit of the game brought home Roberts from second in the ninth, pushing the Houston lead to 6-3.
Brian Cavanaugh hit an infield single to score Grace in the bottom of the ninth to cut the deficit to 6-4 before Vaclavik closed the game with three Pirate runners on base.
The announcement of the 64-team bracket for the 2005 Division I Baseball Championship will be made on ESPN, Monday at 11:30 a.m.
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