GREENVILLE, N.C. – No. 21 East Carolina closed the 2022 regular season in dramatic fashion in a couple ways Saturday afternoon by walking off Houston, 3-2, in the 10th inning and extending its win streak to a nations-best 14 games on Senior Day.
With the victory, the Pirates improved to 38-18 overall and 20-4 in American Athletic Conference play – their third consecutive 20-win season in The American – while the Cougars dropped to 34-22 and 13-11.
With the score knotted at two-all and one out in the 10th frame, Lane Hoover doubled to shallow center for his third hit of the contest. Bryson Worrell, one of four graduating seniors, followed with an infield single to second allowing Hoover to reach third. But on the throw over to first, where the Cougar pitcher Maddux Miller was running towards the bag, Hoover darted home scoring the game-winner for the Pirates’ first walk-off win of the season.
Garrett Saylor (5-3) earned the win tossing a scoreless 10th where he allowed a hit and struck out one. Starter Jake Hunter gave up a pair of runs (both earned) on three hits with a strikeout in two-plus inning of work. On the day, ECU would use five pitchers to get to Saylor in Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 K), Trey Yesavage (0.2 IP, 1 K), Ryder Giles (3.0 IP, 3 Hs, 2 Ks), Zach Agnos (1.2 IP) and Carter Spivey (1.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 K).
Miller (3-2) suffered the loss giving up the run in extra innings (earned). The right-hander allowed two hits and struck out one while working the bottom of the 10th stanza. Starter Malachi Lott gave up a run (earned) on one hit with a pair of walks and one punch out in two innings. Houston would use five additional arms from the bullpen in Logan Clayton (1.0 IP, 2 Hs, 1 K), Jose Torrealba (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K), Nathan Medrano (1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 Ks) and Ben Sears (2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 K).
Houston pushed across a pair of runs in the second inning taking an early 2-0 lead. With two away, Santiago Garcia singled to center and took third on Lott’s double down the right-field line. Both runners would score on Samuel Benjamin’s two-RBI single to right-center.
Worrell’s opposite field single in the third got the Pirates on the board, cutting into the lead, 2-1. Justin Wilcoxen was hit by a pitch to begin the frame and took second on Lane Hoover’s infield single. Worrell plated his 41st run of the season with a single to left scoring Wilcoxen from second.
Jacob Jenkins-Cowart’s RBI double in the eighth inning for the Pirates tied the game at two-all. Worrell doubled to left-center with one out and the next pitch Jenkins-Cowart also doubled to left center driving in his team-leading 42nd run of the year.
Offensively, the Pirates tallied nine hits getting three each from Hoover and Worrell. Agnos, Jenkins-Cowart and Ben Newton each chipped in with one apiece, while Worrell plated a pair of runs and scored once to lead the Pirates,
ECU will return to the diamond on Tuesday, May 24 when it faces South Florida in the second game of the 2022 TicketSmarter American Baseball Championships. First pitch is slated for approximately 12:30 pm (ET) at BayCare Park in Clearwater, Fla. and will be streamed on ESPN+.