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Pirates stage rally
for Man in the Van

From staff reports

<<< ECU-USF Box Score >>>

Darryl Lawhorn

Neal Sears

KINSTON — Perhaps it was the presence of the impossible-to-miss van parked near the right field foul line — the one housing East Carolina's battling coach, Keith LeClair.

Maybe the Rowdy Dowdy feel the boisterous ECU faithful lent to grand ol' Grainger Stadium had a bit to do with it, too.

Whatever it was, it was powerful stuff.

When their vessel seemed about to plummet to the bottom after a 6-run South Florida scoring clinic in the bottom of the 4th, the Pirates took a page from the Book of LeClair and maintained the faith.

Instead of abandoning ship in the face of a 7-1 deficit, ECU mustered the determination to challenge the odds, mounting an offensive counter-attack that lasted for the next four innings and resulted in a stirring 12-10 Conference USA Tournament win.

Rookie first baseman Darryl Lawhorn supplied much of the fuel for the rousing rally, going 4-for-5, including a towering blast over the right-centerfield wall in the top of the 6th, to pull the Pirates even. It was the freshman hitting wizard's 17th homer of the year.

Reliefmeister Neal Sears took over the mound duties for ECU in the bottom of the 6th and mastered the Bulls' bats while the Pirates added three runs in the 7th and two in the 8th to seize control of the game.

USF, which came into the tournament as the No. 7 seed and promptly entered the winners bracket by goring 2nd-seeded Louisville, 10-0, will face No. 3 seed Texas Christian tonight at 7:30 PM.

ECU, which defeated the Horned Frogs 5-1 in a first round game Wednesday night, will play the winner of the USF-TCU game Saturday at 12:30 PM.

<<< ECU-USF Box Score >>>

02/23/2007 11:21 AM


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