April 18, 2009
NEW ORLEANS- There are those days in baseball where the line drives are caught while everything pitched to the opposition seems to have eyes, as was the case for the Green Wave baseball team in Saturday's 12-5 loss to the visiting Pirates of East Carolina. The Green Wave managed nine hits on the afternoon and put good swings on good pitches but came up short as multiple Wave line drives found Pirate gloves, while ECU seemingly had every swing drop in for bloop hits.
"They [ECU] swung the bats real well today," head coach Rick Jones said. "They got out of the gates quickly and we were playing from behind all day. I thought we made a nice run and hit the ball well for us. We actually swung it better than the hits [would indicate] because we had three line drives in the infield that were caught."
East Carolina hopped ahead early, putting up four runs in the top of the first after Ryan Wood drew a one-out walk. Brandon Henderson took a pitch in the leg to move Wood into scoring position, where he was promptly driven in on a base hit off the bat of Kyle Roller. Green Wave starter Aaron Loup sat Stephen Batts down with the strikeout but it was Devin Harris who came out swinging, hitting the three-run shot to left-center field to give the Pirates the 4-0 lead. Dustin Harrington made his presence known in the top of the second when he led off the frame with a solo shot off the scoreboard to extend the Pirate lead to 5-0.
ECU's offense was not quiet in the third inning, when Batts led off with a single through the left side. A base on balls to Harris would end Loup's outing, with Taylor Rogers making his ninth appearance of the year, to face Drew Schieber. Schieber got the bunt down and beat the throw to load the bases for Harrington. Rogers got the 6-4-3 double play ball and the Wave conceded the run when Batts crossed the dish, putting the Pirates up 6-0.
ECU put up single runs in the fourth and sixth innings but the Green Wave broke up Pirate ace Seth Maness' shutout in the bottom of the sixth when Tulane batted around, putting up five runs in the frame. Matt Ryan led off the inning with a single up the middle, bringing up Josh Prince. Prince (3-5) singled to left field and both runners moved up an extra bag when the left fielder muffed the ball. With runners at second and third and one out, Sam Honeck (2-5, two RBI) stepped in and tagged the ball down the right field line, scoring Ryan and Prince to get Tulane on the board, 8-2. Jeremy Schaffer drove the ball to deep left field, good enough to advance Honeck, who was tagging on the play, to third. Drew Allain took first after being hit by a pitch and with runners at the corners and two down, Seth Henry took a 2-1 count down the left field line for a double that scored Honeck. Evan Mistich (1-2, two RBI) stepped into the box and made the most of his at bat, logging the base hit that scored Allain and Henry, closing the gap, 8-5 after six full.
The Pirates came right back in the seventh with Jared Avchen and Trent Whitehead drawing back-to-back, one-out walks. Jones went to the bullpen again, this time calling on Ryan Doiron to face Wood. Wood welcomed Doiron to the contest by taking the freshman deep, launching the pitch over the scoreboard to put the game further out of reach, 11-5. The Pirates picked up another run before the inning was through and it was 12-5 at the middle of the seventh but that proved to be too much for the Wave as they dropped game two by the same final.
Tulane will take on ECU in the rubber match at an earlier-than-scheduled 12PM start Sunday, due to the threat of inclimate weather.