06/02/09 — ECU comes back on S. Carolina

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ECU comes back on S. Carolina

By ECU Sports Information
Published in Sports on June 2, 2009 1:46 PM

ECU Sports Information

GREENVILLE -- Devin Harris stole the show Monday evening.

The East Carolina outfielder supplied a game-tying home run and delivered the game-winning hit in a 10-9, come-from-behind victory over South Carolina at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The top-seeded Pirates (46-18 overall) advanced to their first Super Regional since 2004 and third overall in program history. East Carolina travels to in-state rival North Carolina for the best-of-three Super Regional, which begins Saturday at Boshamer Stadium.

The winner earns a trip to the College World Series.

Sophomore outfielder Trent Whitehead received Most Outstanding Player honors in the Greenville Regional. Teammates Justin Dalles and Brandon Henderson joined him on the all-regional tournament squad.

South Carolina (40-23) blew an early six-run advantage.

ECU climbed within 6-2 on Ryan Wood's fifth-inning, two-RBI home run. The Pirates added two additional runs in the sixth and seventh innings, which left the Gamecocks holding a precarious 7-6 lead.

Jackie Bradley Jr.'s eighth-inning home run, a two-run blast, gave USC a little breathing cushion. But the Gamecocks couldn't score any more runs, leaving two men aboard when ECU reliever Mike Wright secured an inning-ending strikeout.

In the Pirates' ninth, Henderson and Dustin Harrington drew back-to-back walks. Harris followed with his bases-clearing shot for his 14th homer of the season. Pinch-hitter Austin Homan produced a two-out hit, but was left stranded.

South Carolina put a runner in scoring position in the 10th. Wright coaxed the final two Gamecock batters into a pop-up and ground-ball out to end the inning.

With one out in ECU's 10th, Kyle Roller doubled to center field and Harrington flew out to right field. The Gamecocks brought in reliever Sam Dyson, who worked Harris to a 3-1 count. On the next pitch, Harris knocked a single to center field that was deep enough to score Roller and give ECU its second straight victory over South Carolina in a 24-hour span.

Harris concluded the day 4-for-5 and tied a career high for RBI (5). Roller, Harrington and Jared Avchen each recorded a multi-hit effort. Wood picked up his 98th career hit, tying him with Pat Watkins for third on the school's single-season list.

Wright, a freshman, claimed his first-ever collegiate win in three decisions this season. He tossed 1 1/3 innings of no-hit relief as the Pirates claimed their one -- and only -- extra-inning victory of the season.