05/24/07 — ECU advances in C-USA tourney

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ECU advances in C-USA tourney

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on May 24, 2007 1:47 PM

GREENVILLE -- Harrison Eldridge hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to help second-seeded East Carolina claim a come-from-behind 4-2, opening-round victory over seventh-seeded Tulane in the 2007 Conference USA baseball tournament.

Jake Dean legged out an infield single with one out and Drew Schieber followed with a walk in the seventh. After Brandon Henderson, who pinch hit for David Forbes, moved Dean to third on a flyout, Eldridge smacked his sixth homer of the year.

Eldridge took a 1-2 offering from Shooter Hunt over the right field wall at Clark-LeClair Stadium. That gave the Pirates (37-20 overall) a 3-2 advantage.

Jamie Ray padded the Pirates' lead in eighth with his single to left field that plated Batts from second pushing the score to 4-2. Batts, who extended his current hit streak to 23 games in the third inning, picked up his 16th multi-hit game of the year and 31st of his career with his single up the middle with one out.

Bailey Daniels improved to 4-1 on the season after working 1 1/3 innings of relief giving up one hit and striking out one. First-team All C-USA performer Shane Mathews worked a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts to save his 13th game in 15 opportunities.

Starter T.J. Hose worked 5 1/3 innings allowing six hits and two runs with three walks and five strikeouts before being lifted for Jason Neitz, who struck out both batters he faced in the sixth frame. Neitz finished the game allowing one hit in 1 1/3 innings with a pair of strikeouts.

Hunt fell to 6-6 on the season despite allowing four runs on four hits with nine strikeouts, including six in a row at one point from the end of the fifth frame to the beginning of the seventh. He worked 7 1/3 innings with four free passes before giving way to Aaron Loup in the eighth to pitch the final two-thirds of an inning.

Ty Wallace gave Tulane (32-25) a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth with a single to left field that scored Tim Guidry and Bran Emaus. Guidry led off inning with a single down the right field line then moved to second on Emaus' infield single to third. Designated hitter Warren McFadden laid down a sac bunt to Hose to advance both runner 90 feet setting up the games first runs.

East Carolina opposes third-seeded Southern Miss, winners of 11 straight games, at 7:30 p.m. today. USM defeated sixth-seeded UAB 9-5.

Former Charles B. Aycock standout Dustin Sasser, a junior left-hander, will start for the Pirates. The Golden Eagles will counter with right-hander Barry Bowden.

Tulane faces UAB today.