05/27/07 — Prirates reach CUSA title game

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Prirates reach CUSA title game

Published in Sports on May 27, 2007 1:59 PM

GREENVILLE -- East Carolina capitalized on three first-inning errors and tallied runs in each of the final three innings during a 9-4 victory over Tulane in the Conference USA baseball tournament at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The second-seeded Pirates (39-20 overall) advanced to today's championship game against Rice. ECU is making its first title-contest appearance since 2002, when it hosted the event at historic Grainger Stadium in Kinston.

Harrison Eldridge started the Pirates' first with a lead-off walk. He advanced to third when the Green Wave's Anthony Scelfo and Aja Baro didn't communicate on Ryan Wood's pop-up. Wood took second on the play. Both runners scored on Stephen Batts' single.

Seventh-seeded Tulane yielded its second unearned run when second baseman Seth Henry couldn't field Kyle Roller's ground ball. Wood scored to give East Carolina a 3-0 advantage.

The Green Wave forged a 3-3 deadlock with single runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings. Tim Guidry and Brad Emaus each ripped a solo home run in the third and fourth innings, respectively.

East Carolina answered with a two-run uprising in the seventh. Drew Schieber slugged a lead-off home run. Eldridge reached base, stole second and crossed home on Batts' RBI double to left center field. That gave the Pirates a 5-3 lead.

Tulane fired back with a run of its own in the seventh, but could get no closer. ECU collected three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth.

Eldridge finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Batts notched three RBI and went 2-for-5. Sophomore Josh Dowdy earned his fifth mound decision of the season with a six-hit, one-strikeout effort in six innings of work.

Aaron Loup lasted 6 1/3 innings and gave up five runs for Tulane.

With the loss, the Green Wave's nine-year streak of NCAA tournament appearances came to an end.

-- CUSA Sports Information