GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT)- Jimmy Boyd allowed one run (unearned) and struck out a season-high eight batters, while Dwanya Williams-Sutton drove in three runs helping No. 19 East Carolina to a 5-1 series clinching win over No. 15 Houston in American Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 19-8 (2-0 AAC) and the Cougars fall to 16-10 (0-2 AAC).
Boyd (4-1) worked a career-best 8.2 innings scattering six hits (all singles) and holding Houston scoreless until the ninth inning with two outs. To go along with his eight strikeouts, he induced six ground ball outs, 10 fly outs, walked one and hit two batters. Joe Ingle notched his seventh save of the season (15th career) striking out the only batter he faced on four pitches.
Seth Romero (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season allowing five runs (all earned) on eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks in 5.2 innings. Nick Hernandez tossed 2.1 scoreless frames of relief surrendering a hit, one walk and striking out two.
Williams-Sutton drove in three of ECU’s five runs all coming with two outs, while Turner Brown and Eric Tyler laced RBI base hits. The trio combined for six of the Pirates’ nine base knocks – each recording two apiece – while Luke Bolka, Travis Watkins and Charlie Yorgen added one. Tyler scored two of the five runs pushing his season total to 33, which also leads the club.
Six different Cougars recorded a base hit on the day and Corey Julks scored the lone run which came on an error in the ninth inning.How It Happened:
Williams-Sutton staked ECU to an early 1-0 lead with his single to right field in the bottom of the second inning. Tyler reached to start the frame when he was hit by a Romero pitch, then stole second with two outs before scoring on Williams-Sutton’s first hit of the contest.
ECU blew the game open in the sixth plating four runs with two outs pushing its lead to 5-0. Yorgen walked to get things going then took second on a Romero balk. Watkins put runners on first and second when he was hit by a pitch and Tyler followed with an RBI double to left plating Yorgen. Bolka singled to load the bases just before Zack Mozingo grounded into a double play where Joe Davis stepped on first and threw home getting Watkins out at the plate.
The inning continued when Williams-Sutton laced a first pitch offering down the left field line scoring Tyler and Bolka. Brown added an insurance run with a single through the left side scoring Williams-Sutton from second base.
Houston finally got on the board in the top of the ninth capping the scoring at 5-1. Julks reached with one out after he was hit by a Boyd pitch then moved to second on a fielder’s choice. Josh Vidales followed with a single through the right side putting runners on the corners. Boyd retired Jacob Campbell on his eighth strikeout of the game before Grayson Padgett reached on a fielding error by Tyler at third base, which pushed across Julks. Ingle relieved Boyd with a runner on second and promptly struck out Zac Taylor to preserve the win.Game Notes:
ECU had four two-out RBI pushing its season total to 63 … Tyler recorded his team-leading 10th multi-hit game of the year, while Brown notched his fifth and Williams-Sutton recorded his seventh … Williams-Sutton’s three RBI day pushed his season total to five multi-RBI games, which ties Tyler for the team lead … Boyd registered his fourth quality start of the year working a career-high 8.2 innings … Ingle’s save (15th career) moved him into a tie for fifth place on the all-time saves list with Shane Mathews (2004-07) … It was also his fifth save since Mar. 22 and he has not allowed an earned run in his last six appearances (8.2 innings) … Kirk Morgan saw his 10-game hit streak come to an end going 0-for-2 with a walk … ECU picked up its fourth win over a top 15 program this season and second series win (also had two wins over then No. 4 UVA) … The Pirates own a 4-2 record against top 15 teams this season.Up Next:
ECU will look for the series sweep when it hosts Houston in game three Sunday, April 3 at 11 a.m. (ET).