Baseball Drops Pitcher's Duel, 3-2, to No. 27 ECU
April 11, 2010
Memphis, Tenn. -
East Carolina (20-12; 3-3 C-USA) 120 000 000 - 3 7 3 Memphis (14-18; 5-4 C-USA) 101 000 000 - 2 4 0
In a pitcher's duel in which 37 of the final 38 batters were retired, it was a two-run second inning by ECU that was the difference, as the Pirates claimed a series win over Memphis via 3-2 decision in the series final Sunday afternoon at FedExPark.
Pitching dominated the series finale as ECU starter Kevin Brandt and Memphis relievers Dane Sharp and Heith Hatfield held both offenses to two base runners over the final six innings of play. The Pirates' Kyle Roller drilled an infield single in the fifth and the Tigers' Trey Wiedman reached on an error in the ninth. Roller's single was the only hit for either club in the final six frames.
Brandt was masterful in his first complete-game performance to improve to 3-4 on the season. The southpaw fanned a career-high 11 and allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits. He retired 19 of the last 20 batters he faced, including 17 in a row from the fourth thru ninth innings.
In its strongest outing of the year, the Tiger bullpen of Sharp and Hatfield matched him over the final six, sitting down ECU's final 18 batters. Combined with starter Ryan Holland, Memphis hurlers retired 20-straight to end the game. Sharp and Hatfield teamed up for eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Sharp put together a career day with six strikeouts in 4.1 innings. He allowed one hit--a single to Roller, who was thrown out attempting to steal second--and faced the minimum in his outing. Hatfield was perfect with two strikeouts in two innings.
Holland struggled in a 2.2 inning start. He gave up three runs on six hits and was tagged with the loss.
Both clubs scored in the first inning. ECU's Corey Thompson worked and one-out walk and scored from first on an RBI-double by Roller. Memphis found the equalizer in the home half after Zurcher doubled down the leftfield line and scored on an RBI-single by Tyler Huelsing. Roller (2-for-3) and Zurcher (2-for-4) were the only two players to collect multiple hits in the game that showcased a combined 11 hits.
A two-run double off the bat of Pirates' catcher Jared Avchen proved to be the difference in the game. The two-base hit to leftcenter put ECU ahead 3-1.
Huelsing, who drove in both Tigers runs, lined a sac fly to center to plate Zurcher to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the third. Zurcher scored both Memphis runs.
The Tigers will now prep for its annual tilt versus Ole Miss at AutoZone Park on Tues., Apr. 13. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.