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Terps clip ECU for best start in 25 years

From electronic and staff reports
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East Carolina miscues helped set the stage for a bases-loaded, ninth-inning single by senior shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez that drove in the deciding run as Maryland defeated the host Pirates 2-1 on Sunday in the final game of the 2012 Keith LeClair Classic.

The score was tied 1-1 in the top of the ninth when the Terrapins found themselves with runners on all three bases after a single by junior rightfielder Jordan Hagel, two East Carolina throwing errors and a hit batsman. Freshman righthander Drew Reynolds came on to relieve sophomore righty Tanner Merritt and faced Rodriguez, who delivered a line drive into left field, bringing in freshman pinch runner Andrew Amaro.

A pair of mistakes by Maryland starting pitcher Brett Harman, a senior righthander, allowed the Pirates to gain a 1-0 advantage in the third inning. Senior second baseman Tim Younger reached base on a walk, moved to second on a Harman throwing error and advanced to third on a single by junior centerfielder Philip Clark. Younger then scored on a failed attempt by Harman to pick off Clark at first.

The Terps tied the score two innings later when freshman third baseman K.J. Hockaday singled to left on an 0-2 count, knocking in freshman rightfielder Jordan Hagel.

Maryland improved to 5-1 with the victory, the program's best start since 1987. The Terps swept through the LeClair Classic with three wins, claiming the de facto crown for the round-robin event.

On Saturday, Maryland shut out Western Carolina 3-0 and followed that later in the day with an 11-11 pummeling of Purdue in a contest that was ended after eight innings.

In Sunday's other game, the Boilermakers crushed WCU 14-2, picking up its second win of the weekend. Purdue got by ECU on Saturday 6-4.

East Carolina's lone triumph in the event came at the expense of the Catamounts on Saturday. The Pirates slipped by WCU 3-1 behind the pitching of junior southpaw Tyler Joyner a clutch two-run double by senior catcher Zach Wright.

The informal order of finish for the teams in the LeClair Classic:

TEAM                 W   L
Maryland             3   0
Purdue                2   1
East Carolina        1   2
Western Carolina   0   3

East Carolina will be back in action on Friday when it hosts Stony Brook at 5 p.m. to begin a three-game weekend series.

PAGE UPDATED 02/27/12 06:42 AM.

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