Spencer Brickhouse hit a pair of home run and drove in five, while Alec Burleson collected three hits and Jake Washer added a pair helping No. 12 ECU to a doubleheader and weekend series sweep over No. 18 UConn Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the wins the Pirates improve to 29-10 overall in 11-1 in league play, while the Huskies fall to 24-16 and 7-8.
After winning the first game of the day, 5-2, to clinch the weekend series ECU held on for a sweep with a 9-7 victory in the second contest improving to 8-2 in doubleheaders this season.
Trailing 2-0 in the third inning, ECU scored three runs in home half of the stanza taking a 3-2 lead and never looked back. Bryant Packard singled to right, took second on a wild pitch and stole third during Lane Hoover’s at-bat. After Hoover drew a walk, Brickhouse blasted a three-run home run to right field clearing the bases for his 10th round-tripper of the year.
Tyler Smith (5-0) earned the win allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with a walk and two punch outs in 5.1 innings. Four Pirate pitchers were used out of the bullpen in Burleson (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB), Gavin Williams (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 Ks), Ryder Giles (0.1 IP, 2 Hs, 2 Rs) and Zach Barnes (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R).
Jeff Kersten (3-3) suffered the loss surrendering four runs (all earned) on four hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts. CJ Dandeneau was touched for a pair of runs (both earned) on to hits in 1.2 innings, while Caleb Wurster tossed 1.1 scoreless with one punch outs. Jacob Wallace gave up three run (all unearned) on three hits in one frame.
Anthony Prato and Michael Woodworth each drove in runs in the third staking UConn to an early 2-0 lead. Prato reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Kyler Fedko for the first run and Prato ended up on second with a throwing error by Brady Lloyd. Woodworth’s single to center scored Prato from second.
Washer’s solo home run to right-center in the fourth extended the Pirates lead to 4-2.
Brickhouse’s second home run in as many at-bats extended the lead to four, 6-2, in the fifth. Hoover singled to right field and came around on Brickhouse’s shot off the scoreboard in right-center.
UConn answered in the top of the sixth with a pair of runs off the bat of Pat Winkel. Woodworth reached on a fielder’s choice and Christian Fedko walked before Pat Winkel doubled to right-center clearing the bases.
Chandler Jenkins’ pinch hit home run highlighted a three-run eighth inning for ECU making it a 9-4 contest. Washer scored on an error by the Huskies and Packard’s sac fly plated Lloyd. Jenkins came in pinch hitting in the two-hole where Williams was slotted and took an 0-2 pitch from Wallace over the right field wall.
UConn Rallied with three runs in the ninth cutting the lead to two, 9-7, on Kyler Fedko’s solo homer and Woodworth’s two-run shot.
Brickhouse led the Pirates offensively going 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs and five RBI, while Washer added two hits and scored a couple runs. John Toppa led the Husked going 3-for-5 with a run scored and three others in Kyler Fedko, Pat Winkel and Woodworth added two base knocks each.
Game One Recap
UConn scored a pair of runs in the third inning taking an early 2-0 lead. Conor Moriarty drew an opening frame walked and too second when Anthony Nucerino reached on a fielder’s choice coupled with a throwing error by Jake Kuchmaner. Prato loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch chasing Kuchmaner from the contest. Trey Benton came in and promptly hit Woodworth pushing across Moriarty for the first run of the game. Two batters later Pat Winkel’s sac fly to left scored Nucerino for the two-run advantage.
ECU wasted little time in responding scoring three runs in the home half of the third making it a 3-2 ball game. Ryder Giles walked to get things going and was replaced by Nick Barber as a pinch runner. Burleson singled through the right-side moving Barber to third and Brickhouse walked to load the bases. Turner Brown followed with a walk scoring Barber and after a UConn pitching change, Hoover walked plating Burleson and tying the game at two-all. Pinch hitting for Thomas Francisco, Washer’s sac fly to center scored Brickhouse.
The Pirates added two runs in the sixth capping the scoring at 5-2. Brady Lloyd was hit by a pitch with one out and took second on Seth Caddell’s ground out. Barber followed with an RBI base hit back up the middle plating Lloyd. Packard then greeted Wurster with an RBI single to right field pushing across Barber for the final run of the contest.
Benton (4-0) got the win tossing 1.2 scoreless frames where he allowed a hit and struck out one in relief. Kuchmaner was touched for two runs (both unearned) on three hits with a walk and two punch outs in two-plus innings. Sam Lanier and Evan Voliva worked the final 3.1 innings (1.2 IP each) of scoreless ball combining on six strikeouts.
Jimmy Wang (1-2) took the loss after allowing three runs (all earned) on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Chase Gardner faced one batter (walk), Karl Johnson was tagged for two runs (both earned) on two hits with three strikeouts in 3.1 innings and Wurster allowed one hit and struck out one in one-third of an inning.
Burleson led ECU’s seven-hit attack going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Barber, Hoover, Lloyd and Packard each added a base knock, while Barber, Brown, Hoover, Packard and Washer drove in a run.
ECU will return to action on Tuesday, April 23 when it plays host to instate foe UNCW with a 6:30 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.