No. 30 East Carolina's offensive attack continued in game two of a three-game tilt against Memphis Friday night as the Pirates pounded out 19 hits on its way to a 17-3 win at Nat Buring Stadium.
With the win the Pirates (39-16, 13-10 C-USA) have assured itself of playing Houston in the first round of the 2008 Entergy Conference USA Baseball Championships in New Orleans, La. The Pirates and Cougars will square-off in the No. 4-5 matchup at 9:00 am (CT), the first game of the tournament. However the exact seeding for each team will not be determined until after Saturday's games are complete. Rounding out the Pirates pod in the tournament will be top seed Rice and No. 8 seed UAB.
Four Pirates (Dustin Harrington, Brandon Henderson and Ryan Wood) each collected four hits on the night, while Kyle Roller posted a three-hit night and Corey Kemp added two. Kemp (2 RBI), Harrington (5 RBI) and Henderson (5 RBI) combined to drive in 12 of ECU's 19 runs.
Justin Bristow improved to 8-2 on the season after working six strong innings allowing two runs on two hits with nine strikeouts (tied career-high) and one walk. Brad Mincey worked a perfect seventh frame with one strikeout, while Daniel Holder pitched the eighth allowing one run with two walks and two strikeouts. Closing out the game for on the bump was freshman lefty Matt Laney who worked a perfect inning in relief.
Scott McGregor fell to 1-8 on the season for the Tigers (16-38, 4-18) after giving up seven runs on eight hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Ryan Holland pitched 2.1 innings allowing six runs on five hits, while Garrett Hachtel (1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R) and Chris Kirkland (1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R) finished the game.
Kemp gave ECU an early 1-0 lead in the first when he doubled to right-center scoring Ryan Wood from second for his 64th RBI of the season. Wood reached on an infield single then moved into scoring position on a McGregor balk.
Harrington drove in the first of five runs in the second on his 2-RBI single up the middle that extended ECU's lead to 3-0. Drew Schieber drew a one out walk which was followed by Kyle Roller's single through right side before advancing 90 feet because of a McGregor failed pickoff.
Chris Newsom took the first pitch from Bristow in the third inning down the right field line pulling the Tigers within two, 3-1.
Wood picked up his third hit of the game, a RBI double down the left field line, giving ECU a 4-1 lead. Harrison Eldridge drew a two-out walk then stole his 32nd base of the season moving into scoring position for Wood's at-bat.
From the fifth inning on, the Pirates put the game completely out of reach scoring four runs to push its lead to 8-1 on a 2-RBI double by Harrington.
Henderson highlighted a five-run seventh when he smacked his second grand slam of the season and eighth home run giving the Pirates a 13-2 lead.
The Pirates would plate three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth, while Memphis would push just one across in the bottom of the eighth giving ECU a 17-3 win.
ECU and Memphis will close out the 2008 regular season Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. (ET) first pitch scheduled.