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Pirates get mixed results in rankings

C-USA standings shuffled;
ECU-UNC showdown looms

Despite incurring two losses during the week, East Carolina is still one of two Conference USA teams getting attention in the national polls.

ECU (26-9-1) held on to its places at 20th in the BaseballAmerica rankings and 23rd in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll while slipping out of the rankings from last week's No. 29 spot in the Baseball News pecking order.

The Pirates' fellow C-USA member, Houston, is ranked 7th by BaseballAmerica for the second week in a row. The Cougars jumped two rungs to 10th in the USA Today/ESPN list while climbing a spot to 10th in the Baseball News poll.

Meanwhile, Houston (27-10) moved into a tie with Texas Christian for first-place in C-USA's mid-season standings after sweeping a three-game series from Memphis by a combined score of 46-10. The Cougars and the Horned Frogs each sport 11-4 conference records.

Southern Miss, which was alone at the top of the league standings last week, lost two games out of three to Louisville and fell into a third-place tie with the Cardinals at 10-5. The Golden Eagles, 28th last week in Baseball News, dropped out of the rankings.

ECU, which won two out of three at league rival Charlotte, is next at 8-6-1, followed by South Florida at 8-7.

Home Sweet Home for pressure-packed week   <<< Top of Page >>>

The Pirates' and Bulls' close proximity in the Conference USA standings adds extra spice to this weekend's scheduled series between the two teams. USF will challenge ECU in Harrington Field on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

But before ECU gets worked up about South Florida's trip to Greenville, the Pirates will be involved in another game with high stakes of a different kind. In-state bragging rights will be on the line when North Carolina pays a visit Wednesday night.

Like ECU, the Tar Heels will be trying to validate their worth in the eyes of the voters in the national polls. Probably more important to both teams, though, is the institutional ego boost that goes to the winner.

Barring adverse weather, the 7 p.m. game has the potential to draw a crowd approaching or exceeding record size to Harrington Field proper and its adjacent environs, including the 'Jungle'.

Losses fail to budge Clemson from perch   <<< Top of Page >>>

Clemson (30-4) lost twice during the week, to Georgia and North Carolina, but still managed to remain atop all three polls for the third straight week.

Wake Forest (28-6), which swept a three-game series from Virginia, held steady at 5th in BaseballAmerica and 6th in USA Today/ESPN but advanced one position to 5th in Baseball News.

South Carolina (28-8) won all four of its games and neither rose nor fell in the rankings, staying at 8th, 7th and 7th, respectively, in the BaseballAmerica, USA Today/ESPN and Baseball News lists.

North Carolina (25-13) was 3-2 during the week, maintaining its No. 21 ranking one spot behind ECU in BaseballAmerica, but the Tar Heels fell a spot to 25th in USA Today/ESPN while, oddly, rising from 13th to 12th in Baseball News.

Three Carolinas teams, though not cracking the rankings, received votes in this week's USA Today/ESPN poll: UNC-Wilmington (9 votes), Coastal Carolina (3) and Elon (1).

The new rankings were released Monday and are based on results of games through Sunday, April 14.

Rankings Composite   <<< Top of Page >>>

Carolinas/C-USA teams' rankings summary (last week's ranking in parentheses):

School BaseballAmerica USA Today/ESPN Baseball News
Clemson 1 (1) 1 (1) 1 (1)
Wake Forest 5 (5) 6 (6) 5 (6)
South Carolina 8 (8) 7 (7) 7 (7)
Houston 7 (7) 10 (12) 10 (11)
North Carolina 21 (21) 25 (24) 12 (13)
Southern Miss NR NR NR (28)

Tulane vs. LSU smashes attendance record   <<< Top of Page >>>

The Tulane (C-USA) and LSU (SEC) baseball teams set the NCAA record for attendance with 27,673 on hand April 10 at the Louisiana Superdome, but the Green Wave found themselves on the wrong side of the history books as the team in Olive and Blue dropped a 9-5 decision to the Tigers.

The crowd in the Dome shattered the regular-season attendance record of 21,043 set by TCU and Texas on May 4, 1996 at The Ballpark at Arlington, and eclipsed the all-time attendance record of 24,859 set on June 13, 1999 in a doubleheader at the College World Series when Miami took on Alabama and Rice battled Oklahoma State.

Houston pitcher turns Tigers into pussy cats   <<< Top of Page >>>

Houston right-hander Brad Sullivan set a school single-game record with 16 strikeouts in only 7 innings against Memphis. Sullivan scattered three hits and allowed only two balls out of the infield and none after the fourth inning. He struck out every Memphis starter at least once in the game.

C-USA Baseball Standings (04/15/02)

                Conference      Overall
Team             W  L  T   Pct   W   L  T   Pct
Houston........ 11  4  0  .733  27  10  0  .730
TCU............ 11  4  0  .733  20  17  0  .541
Louisville..... 10  5  0  .667  21  10  0  .677
Southern Miss.. 10  5  0  .667  24  13  0  .649
East Carolina..  8  6  1  .567  26   9  1  .736
South Florida..  8  7  0  .533  21  15  0  .583
Tulane.........  7  8  0  .467  20  18  0  .526
Charlotte......  7  8  0  .467  17  18  0  .486
Memphis........  6  9  0  .400  12  20  0  .375
Cincinnati.....  4 10  1  .300  15  19  1  .443
Saint Louis....  4 11  0  .267  13  19  0  .406
UAB............  3 12  0  .200  10  25  0  .286

— From Staff and Conference USA reports. —

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02/23/2007 11:20:59 AM

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