March 16, 2003
HOUSTON - East Carolina scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning on an infield error and Mike DeJesus's RBI-double to take a 7-5 win Sunday over the University of Houston baseball team in the finale of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
The Cougars (8-12, 1-2 C-USA) tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning when Hyung Cho blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence to knot the game at 5-5. However, ECU (12-6-1, 2-1 C-USA) struck for two runs in the next frame and held off the Cougars in the bottom of the inning to hand the Cougars their first-ever C-USA series-opening loss in seven years.
In the top of the 10th, Jake Smith was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved to second base on a passed ball. After Luke Cherry sacrificed Smith to third base, a UH infield error scored Smith and allowed Jamie Page to move to second base. DeJesus then laced a double down the right field line to score Page and provide the final margin of victory.
ECU managed only five hits in the game but scored five runs off home runs from Ryan Jones and Darryl Lawhorn. The Pirates also benefited from four hit batters, all of whom would eventually score during the game.
UH reliever Brian Henderson dropped to 0-2 this season after allowing two runs off one hit with two strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work. ECU reliever Greg Bunn improved to 1-1 despite giving up two runs off one hit with three strikeouts in two innings.
A pair of freshmen led the way for the Cougar offense, which rapped out a season-high 14 hits in the game. Travis Tully went 3-for-3 with a run, while Matt Farrington batted 3-for-5 with a pair of runs. Cho also went 2-for-5 with a run and two RBIs in the losing effort.
The top five hitters in the ECU lineup each recorded one hit apiece with Jones leading all players with three RBIs.
It appeared the game would not need extra innings as ECU took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth. But, the Cougars started a rally when Travis Tully was hit by a pitch to lead off and scored when Cho's homer cleared the left field wall to tie the game at 5-5.
ECU jumped ahead in the fourth inning when Darryl Lawhorn blasted a two-run shot to right center. However, the Cougars rallied to tie the game with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, thanks to RBI-singles from Thanos Papavasiliou and pinch-hitter Brett Cooley.
The scored remained that way until the eighth inning when Ryan Jones blasted a three-run homer to right field for a 5-2 ECU lead. In the bottom of the frame, though, the Cougars cut into that lead when Nick Bott's slicing double down the right field line plated Matt Farrington, who led off with a single through the right side of the ECU infield.
The Cougars return to action at 7 p.m., Wednesday as they play host to No. 1 Rice in Game Three of the Silver Glove Series at Cougar Field. UH will be looking to collect their first win in the series after the Owls took the first two games.
The game can be heard live on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com. Fans can also track the action batter-by-batter by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the "Daily Calendar" at the bottom of the main page at www.UHcougars.com.