ECU baseball team loses first game of season

ECU Pirates

Josh Moylan (ECU Sports Information photo)

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STATESBORO, Ga. – Georgia Southern scored six runs in the fifth frame and held on for a 10-7 win over No. 22 East Carolina Saturday, Feb. 27 at J.I. Clements Stadium. With the win the Eagles improve to 2-4 on the year and tied the series at one-all, while the Pirates fall to 5-1. 

Trailing 5-3 in the fifth inning, the Eagles sent 12 batters to the plate with two outs as the Pirates used four pitchers for a 9-5 advantage and never looked back. With two away, Jaylen Paden singled to left and Noah Ledford was hit by a pitch. After ECU brought in C.J. Mayhue to pitch, Christian Avant singled up the middles scoring Paden. Jason Swan doubled to left-center plating Ledford and Austin Thompson blasted a three-run homer down the left field line clearing the bases. The Eagles loaded the bases with a walk, single and hit by pitch for Mason McWhorter, who was also plunked at the dish allowing JP Tighe to score.  

David Johnson (1-0) earned the win in relief allowing one run (earned) on two hits with four strikeouts in two innings. Ben Johnson notched his first save of the year despite giving up one run (earned) on two hits with one punch out. Starter Chase Dollander worked four innings where he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts. The Eagles also got bullpen outings from Jacob Parker (0.2 IP, 4 Hs, 3 Rs, 3 ERs, 1 K) and Jay Thompson (0.1 IP). 

Mayhue (0-1) suffered his first collegiate loss surrendering four runs (all earned) on four hits and a walk without recording an out. Jake Kuchmaner gave up five runs (all earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts in 4.2 frames. ECU used four more arms in relief getting outings from Skylar Brooks (0.0 IP), Nick Logusch (1.1 IP, 1 H, 3 Ks), Nate Nabholz (0.2 IP, 2 BBs, 1 K) and Trystan Kimmel (1.1 IP, 2 Hs, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K). 

Josh Moylan staked ECU to an early 2-0 lead blasting a two-run shot to right center in the fourth inning. Connor Norby reached on an error and trotted home on the moon shot over the wall. 

The Eagles plated three runs on three hits to go along with a pair of Pirate errors taking a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. With a runner on first, Swan reached on a sac bunt error and ended up at second base. Austin Thompson followed with an RBI double and Tighe’s two-run shot down the left field line capped the scoring in the frame. 

Trailing 3-2 in the fifth, ECU plated three runs with two outs to regain the lead at 5-3. Norby laced his second base hit of the game with an RBI single that scored Lane Hoover from third. Moylan followed with a two-run double for his second hit of the day, fourth of the series, giving the Pirates a two-run lead. 

ECU pulled within three, 9-6, in the seventh inning thanks to Thomas Francisco’s RBI single up the middle. Hoover reached on an error, stole second and sprinted home on Francisco’s lone hit of the game. 

Alec Makarewicz pulled the Pirates within two, 9-7, after hitting his first career home run to right-center in the eighth inning. Georgia Southern answered with a run in the home half of the eight extending the lead back to three, 10-7. Ledford tripled to right field and Christian Avant’s single back up the middle scored pinch runner Sam Blancato. 

The Pirates pounded out double-digit hits for the fourth-straight game with its 12 on the afternoon. Caddell, Hoover, Moylan and Norby each added a pair, while Moylan drove in a career-best four runs. The Pirates’ hurlers tallied 10 strikeouts also for the fourth consecutive contest and fifth time on the season. 

ECU and Georgia Southern will close out the three-game series on Sunday, Feb. 28 with a 1 p.m. (EST) schedule first pitch on ESPN+

Post-Game Notes: 

  • ECU dropped to 153-41 (5-1 in 2021) when scoring first under head coach Cliff Godwin … 
  • Connor Norby extended his hit streak to 13-straight games with his double in the second … Tallied his team-leading fourth multi-hit game of the year after going 2-for-4 at the plate with and RBI and two runs scored … 
  • Lane Hoover extended his on-base streak (third) and hit streak (fifth) to 13 games … He registered his second multi-hit game of the season and scored a pair of runs on the day … 

Josh Moylan posted his third multi-hit game of the season with two hits … Tied Seth Caddell for the team lead in home runs following his two-run homer in the fifth frame …  

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