Turner Brown and Thomas Francisco each tallied a pair of hits, while the Pirate pitchers recorded 14 strikeouts as No. 8 ECU defeated instate foe UNCW 9-1 Tuesday night at Brooks Field. With the win the Pirates improve to 25-7 on the year and the Seahawks fall to 17-16.
ECU wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard pushing a run across in the top of the first inning. Lane Hoover reached on a fielding error by shortstop Greg Jones where he reached second base. Hoover then took third on a Gage Herring wild pitch and crossed home on a passed ball by Lucas Oxendine.
Trey Benton (3-0) earned the win allowing one run (earned) on four hits with six strikeouts. ECU used five arms out of the pen getting outings from Sam Lanier (2.1 IP, 1 BB, 4 Ks), Cam Colmore (1.2 IP, 2 Hs, 4 Ks), Evan Voliva (1.1 IP), Zach Barnes (0.2 IP) and Garrett Saylor (0.1 IP).
Gage Herring (0-4) took the loss surrendering three runs (two earned) on one hit with one walk in 1.2 innings. On a staff day, the Seahawks used nine hurlers out of the bullpen where they allowed a combined six runs on seven hits with three walks and six punchouts.
An RBI single by Thomas Francisco and an RBI sac bunt by Brady Lloyd extended the Pirates lead to 3-0 in the second. Jake Washer was hit by a Herring pitch to get the frame going then stole his second base of the year. Dusty Baker followed with a walk where Washer took third on a wild pitch before coming home on Francisco’s single to right field. With Baker standing on third and Francisco on first, Brady Lloyd’s sac bunt down the right field line pushed Baker across for the second run of the stanza.
UNCW finally got on the board in the third inning pulling within two, 3-1. Noah Bridges singled up the middle to start the inning, stole second and moved to third on Chris Thorburn’s infield single before coming home on a Benton wild pitch.
Bryson Worrell and Lloyd each plated a run in the top of the sixth extending the Pirates lead to 5-1. Spencer Brickhouse and Turner Brown registered consecutive hits before Washer loaded the bases with a walk. Worrell pushed across Brickhouse when he reached on fielder’s choice and with runners on the corners, Lloyd dropped a bunt down the first base line plating Brown.
The Pirates added two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth capping the scoring at 9-1. Chandler Jenkins’ RBI ground out plated Washer and Worrell scored on a wild pitch accounting for the both runs in the eighth, while Brown’s RBI single scored Christian Jayne from second base in the ninth.
Brown and Francisco led the Pirates eight-hit attack each collecting a pair of base knocks. Brickhouse (single) and Giles (double) extended their on-base streaks to 12 games, while Washer and Worrell also registered hits.
ECU will continue its nine-game road trip this weekend traveling out west for a three-game series at No. 1 UCLA. First pitch at Jackie Robinson Stadium is slated for 9 p.m. (ET) Friday night.