05/07/07 — Pirates move into third in C-USA

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Pirates move into third in C-USA

Published in Sports on May 7, 2007 2:13 PM

HOUSTON, Texas -- East Carolina moved into third place in Conference USA with a 9-2 victory over Houston on Sunday afternoon.

The Pirates (32-15 overall) used a sixth-run fourth inning as the springboard to their 10th CUSA triumph in 17 outings. ECU trails league-leading Rice and is a half game behind Memphis.

Houston (25-22) dipped to 10-8 in the league.

East Carolina's Stephen Batts started the six-run fourth with a one-out single down the right-field line. Kyle Roller reached on a throwing error, which advanced Batts to third. Corey Kemp delivered a bases-clearing double to make it 2-0.

Jake Dean singled to right center, which moved Kemp to third before Jamie Ray's double down the left field line scored Kemp. After a Cougar pitching change, Drew Schieber drilled a three-run home run over the right field fence for a 6-0 advantage.

Josh Dowdy (3-1) surrendered two runs on three hits and posted two strikeouts in a five-inning stint. Jason Neitz relieved Dowdy in the sixth and worked three scoreless innings surrendering one hit with one walk and one strikeout. Mike Flye threw a scoreless ninth.

Houston's John Touchton fell to 4-5 after lasting just 31/3 innings where he allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits with one walk before giving way to Shea Hancock in the fourth. Hancock went 11/3 inning allowing one run on four hits and one walk. The Cougars also called Barry Laird and Bryan Tully out of the pen.

Houston pulled within 6-2, but could get no closer.

Batts extended ECU's lead to 7-2 in the sixth when he ground into a double play that scored Ryan Wood. Wood advanced to second to lead off the inning when he struck out and moved to second on a Hancock wild pitch before touching home.

The Pirates added runs in the eighth and ninth frames to push the lead to 9-2. Tousley singled home Harrison Eldridge from second putting in the eighth and Schieber drove in Ray in the ninth.

Offensively, East Carolina pounded out 15 hits with Tousley leading the way going 4-for-5 with one RBI.