KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – No. 12 East Carolina received five shutout innings from its bullpen to back a strong start by Garrett Saylor as the Pirates rallied with four late runs to down Queens University 5-2 in 10 innings Tuesday night at Atrium Health Ballpark.
ECU (8-3) racked up 13 hits to the Royals’ (3-8) four while the pitching staff fanned seven Queens hitters against just one walk.
Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman (2-1) was lights out in the final three innings, holding the Royals scoreless and hitless while striking out a pair. Justin Offschanka (0-1) took the loss after surrendering three runs on five hits in 1.1 innings of relief.
Luke Nowak and Jacob Jenkins-Cowart tallied a pair of hits apiece to pace the Pirate offense while Jenkins-Cowart added two RBI. Ryley Johnson also came through by driving in a pair of runs in the 10th frame. Nick Brassington and Tyler Peters recorded a hit and RBI apiece for Queens.
The Royals took the lead in the bottom of the first when Riley Cheek tripled to right field and scored on a Brassington RBI groundout. The Royals tacked on another in the second thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Peters after Dillon Lewis led off with a double.
Nowak notched the first ECU hit of the evening in the top of the fourth before Starling worked a walk after a pitch clock violation with the count full. After a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, Jenkins-Cowart delivered a sac fly to plate Nowak and cut the Pirate deficit to 2-1.
The scoring settled down from there as East Carolina entered the ninth inning with one last chance to knot things up. Josh Moylan got things started with a single to right field and was replaced by Johnson who promptly stole second. Down to their last out and with Johnson on third and Carter Cunningham on second, Alec Makarewicz snuck one to the left side of the infield that was deep enough to allow Johnson to cross home and tie the contest.
Ryan McCrystal provided a big moment to start the 10th inning when he singled in his first at bat of the campaign. Jacob Starling drew a walk before Jenkins-Cowart doubled through the right side to score McCrystal and give the Pirates a 3-2 advantage. Johnson then laced a two-run single to the outfield to make it a three-run cushion. Lunsford-Shenkman took care of the rest in the home half of the 10th, working around a two-out error to slam the door shut.
- East Carolina won its first-ever meeting with Queens.
- The Pirates played in their second Minor League Park of the season.
- ECU was 5-for-14 (.357) with two outs.
- East Carolina racked up double-digit hits for the sixth time in 2023.
- The Pirate pitching staff matched its season low, walking just one batter.
Up Next: East Carolina closes its midweek road swing Wednesday afternoon at Elon. First pitch at Latham Park is slated for 4 p.m.