Pirates, Bearcats split doubleheader

ECU Pirates

Ryder Giles (ECU Sports Information photo)

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati scored a pair of runs on an error in the bottom of the 10th giving the Bearcats a doubleheader split with a 7-6 win over No. 11 East Carolina Friday night at UC Stadium in American Athletic Conference action.

With the split, the Pirates fall to 24-11 overall and 16-6 in league play while the Bearcats improve to 25-22 and 14-12.

Trailing 6-5 going to the home half of the tenth Wyatt Stapp was placed on second due to the league extra inning rule. Ryan Nicholson moved him over to third on a flyout down the left field line in foul territory, which was the first out. Griffin Merritt reached first and put runners on the corners when he was hit by a pitch. After Cam Colmore struck out Joe Powell for the second out, he got Cole Harting to ground out to second, but Connor Norby had trouble with the ground ball and overthrew the first baseman allowing two runs to score including the game-winner in Merritt.

Dean McCarthy (4-3) earned the win giving up two runs (both unearned) on no hits with a walk and five punch outs in four innings. Stater Zach Segal allowed four runs (all earned) on 11 hits with one strikeout in six full frames.

Colmore (5-1) suffered the loss in relief allowing two runs (both unearned) on one hit with a pair of strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Starter Tyler Smith gave up three runs (all earned) on two this with three walks and one strikeout in 2.1 innings. Between Smith and Colmore, the Pirates used six arms out of the bullpen getting appearances from Matt Bridges (1.2 IP, 2 BB, 1 K), Josh Grosz (0.1 IP, 2 Rs), C.J. Mayhue (1.2 IP, 2 Hs, 2 Ks), A.J. Wilson (1.0 IP, 2 Ks), Landon Ginn (0.1 IP, 2 BBs) and Danny Beal (0.2 IP).

Ryder Giles staked the Pirates to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. With two away and Bryson Worrell on first, Ben Newton was plunked by a Segal pitch and Giles followed with an RBI single to left field.

Cincinnati responded with three in the home half of the third taking its first lead of the series at 3-1. Eric Santiago started the stance with a single to left center and took second when Paul Komistek was hit by a pitch.

Josh Moylan’s two-RBI double in the fifth highlighted the Pirates three-run stanza, 4-3. Ben Newton doubled to get things going and moved to third on Giles’ sac bunt before scoring on a wild pitch. Norby followed with a double down the right field line and Thomas Francisco’s infield single put runners on the corners. Moylan laced a full-count offering to right-center clearing the bases.

But the Bearcats responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth regaining the lead, 5-4. Joey Bellini singled to left field and Eric Santiago drew a walk chasing Grosz from the game. Mayhue got Paul Komistek to fly out to left field for the second out of the inning. After Stapp drew another walk to load the bases, Ryan Nicholson singled home Bellini and Santiago.

Garrett Chandler tied the game at five-all in the ninth when he scored on a passed ball. Newton began the stanza with a walk and was lifted for Chandler as a pinch runner. After another sac bunt by Giles that moved Chandler to second, he took third on a wild pitch before crossing home on Powell’s miscue behind the plate.

ECU took a 6-5 lead in the 10th when Jacob Starling scored on a suicide squeeze play with Alec Makarewicz at the plate. Starling started the inning at second and took third on Seth Caddell’s fly by to center before darting home during Makarewicz’ at-bat.

The Pirates out-hit the Bearcats 11-6 in the game getting multiple hits from Giles, Moylan, Newton and Norby, who extended his on-base streak to a nation-leading 52 consecutive games. The dagger for ECU in the contest was the pitching staff issued nine walk and hit four batters for a total of 13 free bases.

Game One Recap
East Carolina’s offense pounded out 12 hits and chased Garrett Schoenle from the game after two innings as the Pirates took game one of the doubleheader 8-4 at UC Stadium.

With the game knotted at two-all, ECU put up five runs in the second frame on five hits and a Bearcat error taking a 7-2 lead and never looked back. Lane Hoover got things going with a bunt single to start the stanza and Moylan reached on an error putting runners on the corners. After Ryley Johnson grounded out to second and Moylan moved to second, Giles singled to center plating two runs. Norby followed with an RBI single back up the middle pushing across Giles for the third run. Francisco kept the inning going with his second hit of the game, a shot to right field, and after he stole second base, Seth Caddell grounded out to second scoring Norby. Worrell’s double down the left field line allowed Francisco to cross home capping the frame.

Gavin Williams (8-0) earned the win allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits with a walk and eight strikeouts for his fifth quality start of the season. Jake Kuchmaner made his first relief appearance since 2019 Greenville Regional Championship Game working two innings where he gave up two runs (both earned) on one hit with a walk and one punch out. Garrett Saylor (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB) and Colmore (0.1 IP, 1K) worked the ninth inning securing ECU’s 12th consecutive series opening win.

Schoenle (5-3) took the loss after being touched for seven runs (four earned) on seven hits with a walk and one strikeout in two innings. Max Bergmann worked a career-best six innings of relief where he gave up just one run (earned) on five hits with a strikeout. Conner Linn tossed a perfect ninth with one punch out.

ECU wasted little time in getting on the board scoring a pair of runs for an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Norby walked to open the frame and Francisco followed with an infield single. After a double steal moved both runners into scoring position and two batters latter Agnos singled up the middle plating both runners.

Cincinnati tied the game at two-all in the home half of the first frame. Mercer reached after being hit by a pitch and came around to score on Santiago’s double to left center. Komistek followed with an RBI single to left field easily plating Santiago.

Caddell blasted his team-leading 13th home run with a solo shot to left field in the fourth inning extending ECU’s lead to six, 8-2.

Cincinnati would score two runs in the ninth pulling within four, 8-4, but Colmore left the bases loaded when he struck out Cole Harting looking to end the contest.

All starting nine Pirates tallied at least one hit with Francisco, Norby and Worrell each registering a pair. Agnos and Caddell each plated a run, while Francisco and Norby scored twice in the game.

The Pirates and Bearcats will continue the four-game league series Saturday, May 15. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. (ET) and will be streamed on ESPN+.

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