ECU Spoils FedExPark Grand Opening, 20-9
April 10, 2010
Memphis, Tenn. -
East Carolina (19-12; 2-3 C-USA) 073 105 400 - 20 22 4 Memphis (14-17; 5-3 C-USA) 100 310 130 - 9 10 2
Memphis got home runs from Chad Zurcher, Phillip Chapman and two from Trey Wiedman, but the offensive output was not enough to combat a strong 22-hit barrage by the 27th-ranked ECU Pirates in a 20-9 loss at the official Grand Opening of FedExPark on Saturday afternoon. Despite the loss, Memphis (14-17; 5-3 C-USA) remains in a four-way tie for first place in the C-USA standings, with Tulane, Rice and UAB.
Memphis got on the board on its second batter of the day, when Zurcher launched a home run over the rightfield wall for a 1-0 lead.
That would be the Tigers only lead of the game. ECU benefited from an unfortunate bounce to start a seven-run rally and the Pirates never looked back. With the score tied at 1-1 and a runner on first, Trent Whitehead chopped a groundball toward Zurcher at short. With Zurcher set to begin the possible inning-ending double play, the ball struck the infield umpire and trickled into shallow leftfield. From there, the Pirates got a single, hit batsman and walk in consecutive plate appearances to go up 3-1. John Wooten then provided the crushing blow--a lined grand slam to rightfield to give the visitors a commanding 7-1 lead.
ECU tacked on three more in the third and another in the fourth to go up 11-1 before Wiedman's two-run blast powered a three-run fourth. The Tiger senior made it 11-5 with his second homer of the day--a lined shot into the trees just beyond the leftfield wall.
That was as close as the Tigers would get. East Carolina used RBI-doubles by Whitehead, Kyle Roller and Austin Homan to cross five in the sixth inning. Corey Thompson's two-run single highlighted a four-run seventh as the Pirates threatened the Saturday 15-runs rule.
Memphis took advantage of an ECU error to score one in the seventh.
Chapman's first Division-I home run combined with three Pirates' errors fueled a three-run eighth for the 20-9 final.
ECU's top four hitters all had multiple hits, including Roller, who went 5-for-6 with four RBI and three runs scored. Zach Wright was perfect in four at-bats. He drove in four runs as well.
Memphis got two hits from Zurcher, Wiedman, Chapman and Jacob Wilson. Zurcher scored three times, while Wiedman drove in three.
Seth Maness improved to 6-2 on the year after giving up six runs on nine hits in six innings. He struck out seven. Memphis starter Ryan Fraser suffered his first loss of the year. The righthander surrendered 10 runs on 10 hits in just 2.2 innings.
The Tigers and Pirates will square off in the series rubber match on Sunday afternoon at FedExPark. First pitch is scheduled for Noon.