Christian Smallwood belted his first home run in an ECU uniform, while Thomas Francisco drove in a pair of runs and Bryant Packard collected three hits leading the Pirates to a 5-2 exhibition win over Virginia Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Pirates jumped out to an early four-run lead, 4-0, behind Chandler Jenkins RBI single and Francisco’s two-RBI base knock. With the bases juiced and no outs, Jake Washer reached on a fielder’s choice scoring Packard who started the game with a single. Two batters later Jenkins ripped a shot through to left center plating Spencer Brickhouse. Francisco capped the frame with a two-run single through the right side pushing across Lane Hoover and Jenkins.
Smallwood extended the Pirates lead to five, 5-0, when he led off the third frame with a pinch-hit solo homer to left field – the lone longball of the afternoon.
Virginia finally got on the board in the fifth cutting the lead to four, 5-1. With runners on the corners and no outs, Christian Hlinka ground out to Zach Barnes on the mound plating Zack Gelof. The Cavaliers would pull within three, 5-3, in the seventh on Cayman Richardson’s RBI base hit to center that scored Jack Dragum.
Sam Lanier (1-0) notched the win tossing two scoreless frames of relief where he allowed a walk and struck out one, while Evan Voliva record the save striking out the side in the ninth. Tyler Smith got the start on the mound scattering three hits with a walk and one punch out in two scoreless frames. Barnes allowed a run (unearned) on two hits in two innings with a pair of strikeouts, while Cam Colmore gave up a run (earned) on one hit with two punch outs in his two innings of work.
Griff McGarry (0-1) took the loss giving up four runs (all earned) on four hits in just one inning. The Cavaliers would use six hurlers to close out the contest getting outings from Riley Wilson (2.0 IP, 3 Hs, 1 R, 3 Ks), Noah Murdock (1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 Ks), Paul Kosanovich (1.0 IP), Chesdin Harrington (2.0 IP, 2 Hs, 3 Ks), Kyle Whitten (1.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) and Andrew Abbott (1.0 IP, 2 Ks).
Offensively seven Pirates tallied 10 combined hits with Packard (three) and Brady Lloyd (two) collecting multiple base knocks. The Cavaliers tallied six hits and were led by Richardson’s two singles.
The Pirates will continue its fall workouts leading up to the annual Purple-Gold World Series, which will be held Nov. 2-4 (times to be determined). Admission to the series is free of charge to fans.