NEW ORLEANS -- East Carolina stayed alive in the Conference USA tournament by sending the top-seeded team home early.
The Pirates knocked off Rice 4-3 in an elimination game Thursday
behind 4 1-3 hitless innings of relief from T.J. Hose.
He struck out five and walked four after taking over for starter
Justin Bristow in the fifth inning.
East Carolina scored three runs in the sixth to rally from a 3-1
deficit, keyed by Corey Kemp's 16th homer and RBI singles from
Dustin Harrington and Harrison Eldridge.
The fifth-seeded Pirates (40-18) will face the UAB-Houston loser
in another elimination game Friday.
Rice (42-13) entered ranked No. 5 nationally by both Baseball
America and Collegiate Baseball, but went 0-2 in a league
tournament for the first time since 1995.