Double comeback lifts Cougars
From staff and electronic reports
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Six of Houston's 10 hits and all five of its runs came
in the final three innings as the Cougars overcame a deficit to force extra
innings and rallied again in the extra frame to prevail in a 5-4 Conference
USA victory over East Carolina Sunday afternoon at Cougar Field.
The Cougars capped off the double comeback by
manufacturing two runs from three singles, a fielder's choice and a
sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th to trump a home run by ECU junior
outfielder Dylan Brown in the top of the inning.
The win, Houston's 10th in a row, boosted the team's
record to 21-4 overall, 3-0 in the league, and completed a sweep of the
three-game series with the Pirates. The Cougars
won Friday's matchup 7-2 and
captured Saturday's contest 4-3.
The outcome extended ECU's misery of late. The Pirates,
who fell to 11-13, 0-3 in C-USA, have lost five consecutive games and eight
of their last ten.
ECU, which scored a pair of runs in the first and one
in the fifth, was cruising along with a 3-0 lead and seemed to be in control
of the game until making a pitching change in the 8th inning.
Redshirt freshman righthander David Lucroy put in a
sterling start, mastering the Cougars on four hits with eight strikeouts
through seven frames. Three of the KOs came in the 7th when Lucroy fanned
the side in order.
After dinging Houston's Ashford Fulmer to start the
eighth, Lucroy was pulled for senior righthander Andy Smithmyer, who walked
the only batter he faced before giving way to senior lefthander Jake Harris.
Harris uncorked a wild pitch, gave up a single and made
a throwing error on a pickoff attempt to open the door for the Cougars to
score two runs.
Designated hitter Drew Reynolds, a junior rightie, took
over the pitching chores and got out of that inning with no more damage, but
he had less success in the final two frames.
In the 9th, Houston got to Reynolds for a run on two
walks and a single to force extra innings.
ECU appeared poised to put the game away when Brown led
off the 10th with a round-tripper to right field, but the Pirates' optimism
of the moment was fleeting as the Cougars responded in the bottom of the
inning with the decisive runs.
The Pirates have a day to regroup for a 6 p.m. Tuesday
home game with William & Mary.