Cougars have ECU's number
From staff and electronic reports
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HOUSTON — East Carolina started the Conference USA
baseball tournament the same way it started league play during the regular
losing to Houston in Houston.
The Cougars, the only C-USA entry to sweep a series
from the Pirates, overcame a fast start by ECU at Rice's Reckling Park for a
9-4 win Thursday afternoon.
The Cougars have six straight wins over the Pirates in
the C-USA tournament.
ECU (30-25) plays Tulane (28-28) at noon on Friday.
After a 1-5 start in league play, ECU recovered to win 13 of its next 18
C-USA games. Similar resilience is needed against the Green Wave.
“We’ve got to bounce back," said Pirates coach Billy
Godwin. "All we can control is coming out and beating Tulane and going 1-1.
… That’s all we can control. We can’t look back. We’ve got to look ahead.
Our guys are focused. We’ve had our back to the wall a lot this year, so we
just got to come back and win and see what happens in the other game.”
The Pirates, seeded third in the C-USA event, opened
the Houston game with singles from Bryan Bass, Drew Reynolds, Zach Houchins
and Chase McDonald en route to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Cougar starter Austin Pruitt (10-5) recovered to allow
just one run the rest of the way.
Justin Montemayor, the C-USA Freshman of the Year, led
the comeback for sixth-seeded Houston (36-20) with four hits and a pair of
RBIs. Getting two hits each for Houston, which faces second-seeded Southern
Miss (29-25) at 4 p.m. today, were Josh Vidales, Jacob Campbell and Landon
The Cougars outhit ECU, 13-12.
Sophomore right-hander Jeff Hoffman (6-7) took the loss
for the Pirates. He allowed six runs on nine hits over five and one-third
innings. Hoffman stuck out three and walked two. Jake Harris and Joseph
Hughes saw action in relief for the Pirates.
The Cougars capped a four-run third with a two-run
double by Montemayor. Houston scored two runs in the sixth and two more in
the seventh before adding one run in the ninth.
Chris Gosik had an RBI single for the Pirates in the
Reynolds and Houchins each had three hits for ECU. The
Pirates had one error. All of Houston's runs were earned.
“I thought Houston played extremely well.," Godwin said
"We didn’t kick it around or anything. They created some big hits at some
big times. We had a couple of plays we had an opportunity to make and we
didn’t make them, and it was the difference of the game.”