May 1, 2004
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Trevor Lawhorn and Ryan Norwood each blasted home runs in a three-run eighth inning to lift No. 7 East Carolina to a 5-3 win over the University of Houston baseball team Saturday in the second game of a Conference USA series at Harrington Field in Greenville, N.C.
The loss spoiled a valiant comeback by the Cougars, who took their first lead of the game at 3-2 in the top of the inning on Rob Johnson's RBI-double.
In the bottom of the eighth, though, Lawhorn blasted a leadoff homer over the right field wall to knot the game at 3-3. After a walk to Darryl Lawhorn, Norwood gave the Pirates the lead for good with a two-run shot to left field. Norwood went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs to lead ECU, while Drew Costanzo batted 2-for-3.
UH reliever Kevin Roberts dropped to 3-4 after giving up five runs (four earned) with six strikeouts in a career-best seven innings of work. ECU reliever Mike Fly improved to 2-2 despite giving up two runs off two hits with a strikeout in two innings of work.
UH outfielder Travis Tully went 2-for-4 with two runs, a triple and RBI and extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 straight games. Stuart Musslewhite also went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Cougars in the losing effort.
The Cougars dropped to 21-24 overall, 12-8 in C-USA play. East Carolina extended its winning streak to 18 games and improved to 37-6 overall, 17-3 in C-USA games.
The Cougars wrap up the series at 11 a.m. (CDT) Sunday. Fans should note that Sunday's starting time was moved up from the original schedule to accommodate the Cougars' travel schedule. The game 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.
ECU grabbed the first lead of the game in the third inning when Ryan Jones' double in the right-center gap scored Jamie Paige, who reached on a two-out single.
The Pirates pushed their lead to 2-0 in the fifth inning without the benefit of a hit. After reaching on a Cougar error, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a groundout, John Poppert scored on a wild pitch for a 2-0 ECU lead.
The Cougars finally put their mark on the scoreboard in the seventh inning. Tully led off with a single through the left side and moved to second on Cole Bruce's single through the left field. Musslewhite then laced an RBI-single into center field to plate Tully and put the score at 2-1. The Cougars continued to threaten in the inning, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but ECU starter Dustin Sasser forced a flyout to end the threat.
The Cougars took their first lead of the game in the eighth inning with a pair of runs. After a two-out walk to Matt Farrington, Tully laced a fly ball into center field that fell out of reach of diving center fielder Jamie Paige and rolled to the wall, allowing Farrington to score the tying run and putting Tully at third base. Rob Johnson then laced an 0-2 offering from Flye down the right field line to give the Cougars their first and only lead of the game.