GREENVILLE, N.C. – Ninth-ranked East Carolina recorded 12 hits getting multiple base knocks from four Pirates including a three-run home run from Bryson Worrell to help complete a doubleheader sweep of Memphis, 5-3, Friday evening at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium in American Athletic Conference action.
With the win the Pirates improved to 24-5 on the season and 6-0 in league play, while the Tigers dropped to 11-17 overall and 1-5.
Connor Norby scored the game’s first run when he crossed home in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. After leading off with a single to center, he moved to second on a ground out and third on Thomas Francisco’s infield single. When Francisco tried to steal second, Norby delayed a bit before darting home scoring easily.
Matt Bridges (3-0) earned the win tossing 1.1 scoreless frames in relief where he struck out two and allowed a hit. C.J. Mayhue notched his team-leading sixth save with a perfect ninth inning where he struck out all three batters faced after entering the game with a runner on first and no outs. Starter Carson Whisenhunt went 4.2 innings surrendering three runs (two earned) on four hits with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts. Cam Colmore struck out two and gave up a pair of hits in two full innings on the bump.
Blake Wimberley (2-4) suffered the loss giving up four runs (all earned) on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts in five full innings. Takoda Metoxen allowed one run (earned) on four hits with a pair of punch outs in three innings.
Leading 1-0, ECU added to its lead with a three-spot in the second inning going up 4-0. Josh Moylan drew an opening frame walk then moved to second on Zach Agnos’ single through the left side. Worrell cleared the bases with his second home run of the day, a three-run blast to right-center, before the contest was halted for a lightning delay.
Memphis plated a run in the third pulling within three, 4-1, on an ECU wild pitch coupled with a throwing error at third. The Tigers pulled closer with two runs in the fifth on Zach Wilson’s two-run homer to right field making it a one-run game, 4-3.
Ryder Giles smacked his first home run of the season, second career, off of Metoxen in the seventh capping the scoring at 5-3.
Francisco and Norby led the Pirates offensively with three this each, while Moylan and Worrell both had a pair.
GAME 1 RECAP
ECU earned a 12-2 win in eight innings in the series opener thanks to an offense that pounded out 14 hits and a staff that tallied 13 strikeouts.
With the game knotted at one-all, the Pirates scored three runs in the third inning giving them their first lead of the game at 4-1. Lane Hoover and Thomas Francisco started the frame with singles before Seth Caddell plated Hoover on a double to right center. Josh Moylan followed with an RBI base hit up the middle plating Francisco from third. Caddell would score later on when Alec Makarewicz’ grounded into a double-play.
Gavin Williams (4-0) earned the win allowing one run (earned) on four hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in five full innings of work. Garrett Saylor gave up a run (earned) on two hits with three punch outs over two frames and Trystan Kimmel pitched the eighth issuing a walk and fanning one.
Jackson Cothren (1-4) took the loss after he was touched for eight runs (five earned) on 10 hits with four strikeouts and three walks in 4.1 innings. James Muse (0.2 IP, 1 R, 1 K) and JT Durham (2.0 IP, 3 Rs, 2 BBs, 1 K) also experienced action in the first game for the Tigers.
Ben Brooks gave Memphis an early 1-0 lead with a solo blast to right field in the second inning.
ECU tied the game at one apiece with his RBI single in the home half of the second. Moylan reached on a base hit back up the middle moved around to third on consecutive wild pitches and crossed home on Agnos’ first hit of the contest to center.
The Pirates added five runs in the fifth extending their lead to 9-1. Moylan scored the first run on a fielding error by Alex Trela at third base and Bryson Worrell’s RBI double pushed across Makarewicz. Connor Norby’s ninth home run of the season, a three-run shot to right field, capped the frame.
Trela’s solo home run to left field pulled Memphis within seven, 9-2 in the sixth. But the Pirates responded with two in the seventh on Worrell’s home run to left center and one in the eighth on Ben Newton’ single through the left side that ended the contest due to the conference’s 10-run rule.
ECU and Memphis will continue the four-game series Saturday with a 4 p.m. (ET) start that will be streamed on ESPN+.