East Carolina clips Owls in
From staff and electronic reports
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Designated-hitter-turned relief pitcher Drew Reynolds
bottled up Rice bottled for five scoreless innings until junior third
baseman Zach Houchins stroked a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the
13th to lift East Carolina to a 3-2 Conference USA victory over the Owls
Saturday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Timely hitting allowed the Pirates to rally from an
early deficit to force extra innings and clutch pitching kept Rice at bay as
the three-hour and 37-minute marathon unfolded for four extra frames.
The Owls led 2-0 after nicking redshirt freshman
righthander David Lucroy for single runs in the second and sixth, but that
was the end of the scoring for Rice.
Junior shortstop Jack Reinheimer led off the bottom of
the sixth with a home run to pull ECU within one and Reynolds came in to
score one inning later on freshman catcher Travis Watkins' RBI single.
Reynolds, who had not yet assumed the mound duties, had reached on a double.
Lucroy, who surrendered four hits over seven innings,
was relieved by senior righthander Andy Smithmyer to start the eighth.
After retiring the side in order in the
eighth, Smithmyer gave way in the ninth to Reynolds after serving up a
leadoff single to Rice senior outfielder Michael Ratterree.
A junior righthander, Reynolds struck out four and
allowed only one hit, two walks and a hit batsman the rest of the way.
Reinheimer got on in the 13th with a one-out single and
stole second after senior outfielder Jay Cannon lofted a fly to right for
the second out.
That's when Houchins' single brought Reinheimer home to
seal the outcome and even the series at one game apiece. Rice scored three
unearned runs in the ninth inning
to prevail in Friday's opener 3-0.
East Carolina out-hit the Owls 12-6. Rice left 13
runners on base, while the Pirates stranded 8.
ECU (15-16, 1-4 C-USA) will try to win the series
when it hosts the Owls (22-11, 5-3) Sunday at 10 a.m.