Memphis Drops C-USA Opener 3-2 at East Carolina
March 25, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina (17-4, 1-0 C-USA) hit four doubles and slipped past the University of Memphis baseball squad 3-2 on Friday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium in the Conference USA opener for each team.
Seth Maness (4-1) pitched his second complete game of the season and held the Tigers to just five hits on the game. Maness struck out five and walked one on the game.
East Carolina struck early with a two-run first inning. Back-to-back doubles by Trenth Whitehead and Corey Thompson led to a 1-0 lead and a sacrifice fly by Zach Wright gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead after one inning.
Memphis (11-9, 0-1 C-USA) evened the score at 2-2 on the heels of a one-out double by Conference USA's leading hitter Chad Zurcher. Following the Zurcher double, Jacob Wilson walked and T.J. Rich would load the bases with a single to center. With the bases loaded, Adam McClain hit a sacrifice fly and Zurcher would score on the play. Wilson advanced to third on the sac fly by McClain and Robby Graham hit an RBI-single to right to knot the game at 2-2.
The Pirates regained the lead in the fifth following a lead-off double by Jack Reinheimer. After a groundout by Drew Reynolds advanced Reinheimer to third, Tiger starter Dan Langfield issued his first walk of the night to Tim Younger. Whitehead would be next and he grounded out to first which allowed the go-ahead run to score.
A one-out bunt single by Graham had the Tigers threatening to score in the top of the seventh. Eli Hynes hit a long fly ball down the right field line that was tracked down by the Pirate rightfielder Ben Fultz. Graham advanced to third on the play and Ethan Gross came to the plate with Graham at third. Gross hit a liner to short in his at-bat, but Reinheimer made the catch for the Pirates.
Following a lead-off double by Younger in the bottom of the seventh, Langfield hit Whitehead with a pitch to put runners on first and second and no outs in the inning. ECU chose to sacrifice bunt and was successful as Thompson advanced the runners to scoring position. With one out, the Tigers went to the bullpen and Tyler Farley entered the game. Farley would work out of the jam as a short fly to center and a fly out to deep left field ended the inning.
Langfield worked six and a third innings and allowed three runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked four. Farley pitched one and two-thirds innings in relief and allowed no runs on two hits and he struck out one.
Zurcher and Graham led the U of M with two hits each. Graham and McClain picked up RBI's for the Tigers.
Memphis and East Carolina will conclude the three-game set tomorrow morning with a doubleheader beginning at 9 a.m. With anticipated rainfall entering the Greenville, N.C. area tomorrow, East Carolina officials decided to play two games on Saturday. Game two of the doubleheader will start approximately 45 minutes after completion of game one.