No. 7 East Carolina drops series opener to Houston, 5-4

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Wendell Champion drove in three runs, while Trey Cumbie picked up his fifth win of the season leading Houston to a 5-4 American Athletic Conference victory over No. 7 ECU Friday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Cougars improve to 27-16 overall and 11-5 in AAC play and the Pirates drop to 30-10 and 8-5.

How It Happened:
Trailing 4-2 going to the sixth frame, Houston scored three runs to take its first lead of the ball game at 5-4. Tyler Bielamowicz walked to start the stanza and took third on Grayson Padgett’s double to right field. Ryan Ross came in to relieve Jake Agnos getting Cooper Coldiron to fly out to center for the first out which scored Bielamowicz to draw within one. Champion put the Cougars in front with a two-run homer to straight-away center field to cap the scoring on the night. ECU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead pushing across three runs in the second frame. Brickhouse hit his first home run since March 10 taking a 1-1 offering from Trey Cumbie over the right field wall for the game’s first run. With two outs and runners standing on second (Nick Barber) and third (Andrew Henrickson), Packard laced a two-RBI single up the middle for a three-run Pirate advantage. Houston scratched across a run in the fourth and fifth innings pulling within one, 3-2. Champion doubled down the left field line plating Bielamowicz for the Cougars run in the fourth and Jared Triolo’s RBI ground out in the fifth pushed across Connor Hollis in the fifth. ECU responded with a run in the fifth on Jake Washer’s RBI sac fly that scored Brady Lloyd for a 4-2 lead. The Pirates mounted a rally in the ninth loading the bases with two outs before Carter Henry got Alec Burleson to fly out to left field ending the game.

Godwin’s Take:

“The margin of error is very small in this league and Houston made one more pitch than we did tonight. They were just a little bit better on the mound and offensively than us. I thought we played good defense but they scored one more run. It is a tough league and we have to pull up our pants and be ready to go tomorrow. Trey was really good tonight out of the pen. He punched out six in three and two-thirds of an inning and gave us a chance to win. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have been in the situation we were late in the game in the eighth and ninth innings.”

Pirate Pitchers:
Ryan Ross (0-2) took the loss out of the bullpen allowing one run (earned) on three hits in one-third of an inning. Starter Jake Agnos gave up four runs (all earned) on seven hits with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts in five-plus innings or work. Trey Benton struck out six, walked two and gave up a hit in 3.2 frames out of the bullpen

Cougars Staff:
Cumbie (5-2) picked up the win surrendering four runs (all earned) on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Henry notched his sixth save of the season with 2.1 scoreless frames where he allowed two hits, walked three and fanned three.

ECU Bats:

Packard led the Pirates offensively going 3-for-5 at the plate with a pair of RBI. Brickhouse and Henrickson added a pair of hits, while Lloyd had a double in the fifth inning. Brickhouse belted his fifth home run of the season, which came in the second inning.

Things To Know:

  • Packard extended his hit streak to 18 games, which is tied for the seventh-longest in program history … He has also reached base in 23-straight games and tallied his 16th multi-hit game of the year with a two-RBI single in the second …
  • Brickhouse hit his first home run since March 10, a solo blast to right field to start the second inning … He tallied his 12th multi-hit game of the season …
  • Henrickson extended his on-base streak to 14 games with a double in the second frame … He also registered his 10th multi-hit game of the year …
  • Washer pushed his on-base streak to 15 games with a walk in the third stanza …
  • Benton made his first career appearance in relief punching out six batters in 3.2 innings …

Up Next:
ECU will look to even the series against Houston when the two teams meet for Game 2 on Saturday, April 28 with a 4 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.

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