March 14, 2003
HOUSTON - East Carolina's Mike DeJesus grounded into a double play but it allowed John Poppert to score from third base as the Pirates took a 1-0 win in 12 innings over the University of Houston baseball team in the first game of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
Poppert struck out to lead off the 12th inning, but UH reliever Ryan Wagner's wild pitch got away from catcher Brett Logan, allowing Poppert to reach first. Poppert then moved all the way to third when Luke Cherry's ground ball rolled through the left side of the Cougar infield on a hit-and-run. That set the stage of DeJesus' twin-killing and the lone run of the game.
It was the Cougars' second loss of the year in extra innings after dropping a 4-2 decision to UC Santa Barbara in the season opener in Malibu, Calif., on Feb. 7. It was also the Cougars third shutout loss this season and their fifth loss in the last six games.
The loss spoiled the performance of UH starter Brad Sullivan, who did not pick up a decision. Sullivan struck out a UH season-best 12 batters while scattering nine hits in 10.0 shutout innings of work. It was his third consecutive start with at least 11 strikeouts.
With his third strikeout of the game, Sullivan also became only the second player in school history to record 300 strikeouts during his career. He finished the night with 309 strikeouts and trails only Shane Nance, who holds the UH career record with 388 strikeouts.
Despite striking out five batters in two innings, Ryan Wagner dropped to 0-3 after giving up a hit and a wild pitch in two innings of relief. ECU reliever Glenn Tucker improved to 2-1 after allowing only three hits with five strikeouts in three innings of shutout relief.
Jamie Page went 3-for-5, while Ryan Jones batted 2-for-5 to lead the ECU offense, which outhit the Cougars 10-6. Six different UH batters recorded one hit in the game. Junior outfielder Gabe Lucas saw his season-best six-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-5.
The series continues at 7 p.m. Saturday at Cougar Field. Junior southpaw Danny Zell (4-1, 1.57) will take the hill for the Cougars and be opposed by ECU's Ashley Capps (3-0, 0.71).
Fans can catch the action at KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with pregame slated to begin at 12:45 p.m. Fans can also catch the action batter-by-batter by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the "Daily Calendar" at the bottom of the main page.