HOUSTON — Houston overcame an early deficit and rode the arm of senior right-hander Austin Pruitt during a 9-4 win Thursday against No. 3 seed East Carolina in the Conference USA Championship.
Pruitt tossed his fifth complete game of the season for his 10th win.
East Carolina scored three run in the first inning, which began with four straight singles, including an RBI base hit by Chase McDonald. After an out, Jack Reinheimer reached on an error that brought home two more runs before McDonald was called out at third base. A fielder’s choice ended the threat.
Houston scored four in the third on three hits, which began by a single by Jacob Campbell and was capped with a two-run double by Justin Montemayor.
Houston added two runs in the sixth, ECU responded with its only other run in the bottom of the inning before the Cougars added two more in the seventh and one in the ninth.
Houston chased East Carolina starter Jeff Hoffman after 5 1/3 innings. He allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks for the loss.
In another C-USA game: Memphis raced to a four-run lead in the first and held off Alabama-Birmingham 6-5 after the Blazers scored four after the sixth inning.
Appalachian State 2, Samford 1: The Mountaineers took advantage of two errors in the sixth inning by the Bulldogs to score twice, including one on a two-out single by Will Callaway, to win an elimination game at Greenville, S.C., in the Southern Conference tournament.
In another game: Elon had 19 hits and broke open a close game with eight runs in the fifth to beat College of Charleston, which had lost earlier in the day to Georgia Southern, 18-8 in an elimination game.
Longwood 6, Gardner-Webb 5: Kyri Washington’s three-run homer in the fifth lifted the Lancers and eliminated the Bulldogs at the Big South tournament in Lynchburg, Va. Longwood moves on to face Campbell at 10 a.m. Friday.
In another game: Liberty’s Justin Sizemore connected on a two-run homer in the ninth to give the Flames the 3-2 win and eliminate Radford, which had taken an early 2-0 lead.
Towson 13, UNC Wilmington 11: Zach Fisher homered twice, including a grand slam, as the Tigers beat the top-seeded Seahawks to move to the winner’s bracket final at the Colonial Athletic Association tournament in Harrisonburg, Va.