April 24, 2004
GREENVILLE, N.C. - After jumping out to a 7-0 lead, ninth-ranked East Carolina had to stave off a University of Louisville rally to hang on to a 9-7 win. It was the 14th consecutive win for the Pirates, who sit atop the C-USA standings.
A grand slam by Mark Grace punctuated the seven-run first. Pirate shortstop Billy Richardson also homered in the frame, a two-run shot.
It wasn't until the Cardinal half of the sixth inning, that another run would score. In that frame, Danny Plasencia doubled to leadoff and Logan Johnson followed with a single.
Mark Jurich then jacked a 2-1 pitch to left center for his 11th home run of the season and fifth in as many games. The three-run shot made the score 7-3 Pirates(34-6, 14-3 C-USA).
In the seventh, Isaiah Howes singled with one out, and later scored on a single by Logan Johnson, cutting the lead to 7-4.
Chris Cates walked to open the eighth, and two outs later, Daniel Burton smoked a 2-1 pitch to dead center for the sixth consecutive Cardinal run and a one-run game at 7-6. It was Burton's fourth home run of the season.
In the bottom of the eighth, Grace doubled home a pair of unearned runs to up the lead to 9-6.
Luis Pardo hammered his third home run of the season on the first pitch of the ninth inning, cutting the lead to 9-7. Singles by Johnson and Cates was followed by Braun getting hit by a pitch to load the bases with two out in the ninth, but Kevin Rhodes struck out McKinnon to end the ballgame.
Mike Tisdale (1-5) weathered a rough first to shut down the powerful ECU lineup over the next six innings, holding them to no runs on four hits. He allowed the seven runs on 10 hits and four walks, striking out one in seven frames in taking the loss.
ECU starter Brody Taylor (6-0) got the win, allowing four runs on eight hits, fanning four in 6.2 innings.
Rhodes picked up save number two on the season facing just one batter.
Scott Jenkins gave up two unearned runs on two hits in an inning of work for Louisville(20-19, 8-9 C-USA).
Johnson lead the Cardinal attack with three hits, while Pardo and Cates each had a pair of knocks.
The final game of the series has been moved to Noon on Sunday to accommodate U of L's travel plans.