Memphis Earns 6-5 Decision Over No. 18 East Carolina In C-USA Baseball Action
March 26, 2004
Memphis, Tenn. - Memphis rightfielder Jordan Hart had three hits and scored three runs and centerfielder Josh Payne added a three-run homer as the Tigers defeated East Carolina 6-5 in Conference-USA baseball action Friday at AutoZone Park. Memphis improved to 12-7 overall and 1-3 in C-USA play while the 18th-ranked Pirates dropped to 19-6 overall and 1-3 in league play.
Payne sent the first pitch he saw from ECU starter BrodyTaylor deep over the leftfield wall to give the Tigers a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning. Patrick Hope and Hart each singled ahead of Payne to set up the three-run homer.
East Carolina loaded the bases in the second on a single and a pair of walks, but Memphis starter Jarrett Grube was able to induce Jamie Paige to fly out to end the threat. The Pirates did convert on their next chance to score rallying to tie the game with a trio of runs in the third. Darryl Lawhorn drove in a run with a single and he scored on a bloop double by Ryan Norwood.
Hart gave Memphis the lead back in the sixth when he scored on a RBI-single by Brent Dlugach. Hart singled and put himself in scoring position with his fourth steal of the season. The Pirates tied it up again in the eighth as the Lawhorn twins came through for the visitors. Trevor led off the inning with a double and scored on a single by his brother Darryl.
Hart led off the Memphis eighth with a double and moved to third on an infield single by catcher Kurt Welch. Hart then scored on a wild pitch by ECU reliever Mike Flye. Welch scored the game-winning when second baseman Trevor Lawhorn could not handle a grounder off the bat of Kyle Scott.
East Carolina plated a run in the ninth, but Memphis reliever Bill Edwards (1-2) was able to retire the side when he forced Trevor Lawhorn into a game-ending double play. Edwards logged two innings of relieft work allowing a run on two hits.
Payne's first-inning homer was his team-leading fourth of the season. Grube retired the last 12 batters he faced and equaled his season high for strikeouts with nine in seven innings of work. Dustin Sasser (1-1) took the loss for the Pirates after allowing an unearned run in the eighth.
Memphis and East Carolina continue their series Saturday with a 2 p.m. contest at AutoZone.