April 30, 2004
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Jamie Paige's RBI -single in the bottom of the ninth scored Mark Minicozzi and lifted No. 7 East Carolina to an 11-10 win over the University of Houston baseball team Friday in the opener of a Conference USA series at Harrington Field in Greenville, N.C.
The Cougars, who saw their season-high seven-game winning streak snapped, had rallied from 5-0 and 10-8 deficits before the Pirates took advantage of the Cougars' third error of the night in the bottom of the ninth. After Minicozzi reached on the error and moved to second on a fielder's choice, Paige blasted his fifth hit of the night into the right-center gap for the game-winning run.
Travis Tully went 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 12 consecutive games and lead the Cougar offense, which pounded out 11 hits in the loss. Each of the first five hitters in the Cougar lineup rapped out at least two hits, with Rob Johnson, Thanos Papavasiliou, Cole Bruce and Stuart Musslewhite recording two hits apiece.
Papavasiliou added a three-run homer and two-run double on the way to a career-high five RBIs in the losing effort.
UH reliever Brandon Roznovsky collected the loss and dropped to 1-3 after giving up one unearned run with a pair of strikeouts in 1.1 innings. ECU reliever Matt Bishop improved to 4-0 after limiting the Cougars to only one hit with a pair of strikeouts in 1.1 shutout innings.
Paige went 5-for-6 with three runs, a double and two RBIs for ECU, which outhit the Cougars 13-11. Ryan Jones batted 2-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs, and Darryl Lawhorn went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs.
The Cougars continue the series at noon (CDT) Saturday and wrap it up at 11 a.m. (CDT) Sunday. Fans should note that the starting times for the final two games have been moved up from the original schedule. Both games can be heard live on 88.3 KAXF FM or over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling the action.
Fans also can follow the action through live stats by clicking on the Gametracker at the bottom of the main page at www.UHCougars.com.
East Carolina grabbed the lead in their first at-bat with three runs, courtesy of an RBI-single from Ryan Norwood and a two-run single from Drew Costanzo.
The Pirates, who pushed their C-USA record winning streak to 17 straight games, padded their advantage to 4-0 in the second inning on Lawhorn's looping RBI-single into shallow center field.
In the fourth inning, Lawhorn's RBI-double into shallow right field plated Ryan Jones for a 5-0 ECU lead.
The Cougars struck for their first runs of the game in the fifth inning. After a one-out walk to Matt Farrington and infield single by Tully, Papavasiliou blasted a 3-2 offering from Bunn over the right field wall to pull the Cougars to within 5-3.
In the sixth inning, the Cougars took ad vantage of four hits and two errors to grab their first lead of the night. After a leadoff walk to Musslewhite and a walk to Kevin Roberts, Musslewhite scored and Roberts moved all the way to third when Nick Bott's sacrifice bunt was misplayed by ECU second baseman Trevor Lawhorn. Two batters later, Farrington grounded out but not before Bott moved to third and Roberts knotted the game at 5-5.
Tully slapped an RBI-single up the middle to give the Cougars their first lead and moved all the way to third base when Johnson's infield single was misplayed on the throw to first base. Papavasiliou then laced a double into right field for an 8-5 Cougar lead.
However, the Cougar lead did not last long as Pirates struck for four runs in the bottom of the frame. Jones pulled the Pirates to within one with a two-run homer to left field. After reaching on a walk, Trevor Lawhorn tied the game at 8-8 on a Cougar infield error, and Costanzo's sacrifice fly to center field plated Ryan Norwood for a 9-8 ECU lead.
ECU pushed its lead back to two runs in the seventh inning on Paige's RBI-single.
However, the Pirate lead would not last long this time. In the eighth, Johnson laced a two-out single to right center and Papavasiliou drew a walk to put runners on firs t and second. Bruce then laced a triple down the right field line that fell just out of reach of ECU's diving right fielder Darryl Lawhorn, allowing both runners to score and tying the game at 10-10.