A bases loaded single from Zak Presley in the bottom of the 10th inning propelled fourth-seeded Houston to a 5-4 extra-inning win over No. 5 East Carolina Wednesday morning in the first game of the 2008 Entergy C-USA Baseball Championship being hosted Tulane University.
UH’s Bryan Pounds walked and Jimmy Cesario singled through the right side to put runners at first and third to begin the 10th. Ryan Lormand was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, before Presley stepped in next and singled to center to end the game.
East Carolina had taken the lead, 4-3, in the top of the frame when Corey Kemp drew a two-out walk followed by Brandon Henderson’s double to left field.
The Cougars had a chance to end the game in the 9th. UH began the bottom of the inning with a single from Chris Wallace. Felix Fanaselle came in to pinch run for Wallace an advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a Caleb Ramsey strikeout, Blake Kelso walked to give the Cougars two on with one out.
Jake Stewart then stepped in and worked a full count to set the runners in motion. As they moved with the next pitch, Fanaselle was picked off as he left for third for the second out. Stewart proceeded to strike out swinging to end the threat and the game headed to the extra frame.
The Purple and Gold struck first in the game with back-to-back one-out singles by Brandon Henderson and Jamie Ray to put two on with one out in the top of the second. After a strikeout by Drew Schieber, Kyle Roller singled through the left side to give his team the early advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth with two out and nobody on, Cesario and Lormand pounded out back-to-back doubles to even things up at one all.
The Cougars took the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, but their lead was short-lived.
Houston's runs again came after two were out as Bryan Pounds doubled. Cesario stepped in and singled, scoring Pounds to give the Cougars the lead.
The 2-1 UH lead held for a matter of minutes, as Drew Schieber hit a one-out single for the Pirates and then ECU DH Kyle Roller stepped in to the batter's box. Roller rocked a Wes Musick pitch high over the 25-foot screen and into the new parking lot behind right field. The ball travelled an estimated 415 feet and brought with it a 3-2 Pirate lead.
Houston advances to face the winner of Wednesday’s second game between UAB and Rice at 4 p.m. CT on Thursday, while East Carolina will play in Thursday’s first game at 9 a.m. against the loser of today’s game two.
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