Pirates Offense Too Much For Frogs in 14-3 Loss
May 15, 2004
Kinston, N.C. - The No. 5 East Carolina Pirates played long ball in a 14-3 win over the struggling TCU Horned Frogs, who have lost five straight. The Frogs and the Pirates were locked in a pitcher's dual until the fifth inning when the Pirates broke the game open, scoring 12 runs over the next three innings to snap a 1-1 tie. The Frogs only mustered five hits in the contests and committed three costly errors. TCU hit two solo home runs to account for their only runs of the game.
ECU got the scoring started in the first inning as Ryan Jones reached base on a controversial double call with one out. The Pirates took advantage of the call as Mike Grace hit a two-out single to score Jones with the go-ahead run.
The Frogs tied the game on a lead-off solo shot off the bat of Kyle Dahlberg in the third inning.
Following the RBI-base hit by Jones in the first inning, Eugene Espineli (6-4) retired 11 straight men, picking up five strikeouts over that span. Jake Smith broke up that streak with a solo home run to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Two more runs would cross the plate before all was said and done.
Pirate starter Brody Taylor matched Espineli pitch-for-pitch as he sent down 10 straight following Dahlberg's home run, before allowing a one-out double to German Duran in the sixth inning.
ECU scratched across three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back doubles to start the inning gave the Pirates a 5-1 lead and Smith's second home run of the game made it a 7-1 contest, ending Espineli's day. Omar Arif came on and retired the next two batters to end the inning.
The Frogs got a run back in the top of the seventh as Bo Cogbill unloaded on a Taylor pitch and drilled it high over the left center fence to make it a 7-2 contest, ending Taylor's day. Austin Adams greeted Mike Flye with a single up the middle, but Flye induced a double play ball off the bat of Chris Neuman and struck out Nate Thomas to end the inning.
A six run seventh inning by the Pirates put the game out of reach as the Pirates cruised to their 22nd straight Conference USA victory.
The Frogs picked up another run in the ninth. Chad Huffman doubled to start the inning and scored on Adams third hit of the day.
The Frogs (29-22, 15-11) will try and salvage one game this weekend as they return to the diamond on Sunday to wrap up the series with the Pirates. Game time at Grainger Stadium is set for Noon (ET).