East Carolina Hands Baseball 8-2 Defeat
June 5, 2004
Kinston, N.C. - East Carolina (49-11) used a five-run eighth inning and took advantage of five Seawolves errors in an 8-2 win over a tough Stony Brook squad in the first round of the NCAA Kinston Regional Saturday night. With the loss, Stony Brook (29-26) will face Tennessee in an elimination game tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.
Stony Brook jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Andrew Larsen rapped a one-out single up the middle and moved to second on a groundout by Matt Devins. Isidro Fortuna delivered a single to right field which sent Larsen roaring around third to the plate. Larsen eluded the tag of catcher John Poppert with a terrific head first slide to give the Seawolves the lead.
The nationally-ranked Pirates struck back in the bottom of the inning thanks in part to a controversial call. Poppert smashed a drive to left that landed on the warning track but the umpires lost sight of the ball as it landed and ruled it a home run, thinking it struck the facade above the outfield fence. Later in the inning, a two-out double by first baseman Ryan Norwood plated Jamie Paige to give the hosts a 2-1 lead.
ECU extended the lead to 3-1 in the fifth, scoring an unearned run when Dave Mischo bobbled a two-out grounder off the bat of Norwood which allowed Paige to score. Mischo's miscue was one of six Stony Brook errors in the game.
The Seawolves threatened in the seventh inning. A one-out walk to Cole Ciccatelli and a single to right by Chris Sipp put runners on first and third. But ECU pitcher Shane Matthews induced designated hitter Stephen Didsbury to bounce into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.
ECU broke the game open in the eighth. A two-out single by Mark Minicozzi scored two and chased starter Jon Lewis from the game. The Pirates went on to score three more runs in the inning to take a commanding 8-1 lead.
Cole Ciccatelli's RBI single in the ninth scored Nick Theoharis to make the final score 8-2.
Lewis was outstanding on the mound for SB in arguably his finest performance in a Seawolf uniform. The junior righthander went 7.2 innings, scattering seven hits while striking out six. When he left the game in the eighth inning, the sellout crowd of 3,210 gave Lewis a standing ovation.
Stony Brook will now face No. 2 seed Tennessee which fell to UNC-Wilmington 8-5 in the first game of the day. First pitch is 11 a.m.