GREENVILLE, N.C. - For the third time in his last four outings senior Seth Maness worked at least nine full innings, this time picking up his second complete game win of the year as East Carolina (17-4, 1-0 C-USA) topped Memphis (11-9, 0-1) 3-2 Friday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium in the Conference USA opener for both schools.
Maness (4-1), who also earned a complete game win against Pepperdine on March 4, used 96 pitches and retired 16 of the final 17 batters for his 32nd career win – the most of any active NCAA pitcher. On the night he retired the side in order six times and faced four batters twice. In all he allowed two runs (both earned) on five hits with a walk and five punch outs including getting Adam McClain swinging for the final out of the game.
Dan Langfield (2-2) suffered the loss on the night despite holding the Pirates to three runs (all earned) on five hits with four strikeouts. The sophomore right-hander worked a total of 6.1 innings and issued four free passes before Tyler Farley relieved him in the seventh frame. Farley allowed just two hits in 1.2 innings with a punch out.
ECU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a RBI double by Corey Thompson and a RBI sac fly by Zach Wright. Trent Whitehead laced the first of consecutive doubles to start the stanza with a shot down the left field line. Thompson followed with his lone hit of the evening sending a full count offering to right center, scoring Whitehead. John Wooten moved Thompson over to third on a ground out to first and Wright sent the first pitch he saw to center field pushing across Thompson.
Memphis finally broke through in the fourth knotting the game at two. Chad Zurcher, who was 2-for-4 on the night and entered the game hitting .471, doubled down the right field line with one out. Jacob Wilson followed with a walk and T.J. Rich singled up the middle to load the bases. McClain drove in the Tigers first run on a sac fly to right field scoring Zurcher and Robby Graham singled through the left side plating Wilson.
Whitehead broke the two-all tie in the fifth on a ground out RBI that gave ECU a 3-2 advantage. Freshman Jack Reinheimer extended his current hitting streak to six games with a lead off double to center then moved to third on Drew Reynolds ground out to second. After Tim Younger walked to put runners on the corners, Whitehead stepped up and slapped a shot down the right field line that was snagged at the bag by Rich for the second out pushing across Reinheimer for the game-winning run.
The Pirates and Tigers will play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 26 starting at 10 a.m. due to potential inclement weather in the area on Sunday. ECU will send Mike Wright (4-0, 1.80 ERA) to the mound in game one and Kevin Brandt (2-0, 0.72 ERA) will toe the rubber in game two.
• Attendance: 2,783
• Game Ball: Seth Maness … Tossed fourth career complete game and second in his last four outings … Improved to 19-2 all-time in Conference USA league games and 20-3 all-time against C-USA opponents (including post-season play) … In four career outing against Memphis, the right-hander is 4-0 with 29 strikeouts … He has allowed 10 runs (nine earned) in 30.2 innings.
• Jack Reinheimer collected his third career multi-hit game going 2-for-3 with a walk.
• Trent Whitehead recorded his third game-winning RBI of the year and 10th of his career in the fifth frame.