Pirates pick up walk-off win over Memphis

ECU Pirates

Carolina Hurricanes

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Bryson Worrell scored from second base on a fielder’s choice and an error as No. 9 East Carolina earned a series win over Memphis Saturday in the bottom of the ninth inning 8-7 at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.

With the win the Pirates improved to 25-5 overall and 7-0 in American Athletic Conference play, while the Tigers dropped to 11-18 on the season and 1-6 in league action.

With the game tied at seven-all going to the home half of the ninth, Worrell drew a walk reaching base for the fifth time on the night. Ben Newton followed with a single putting runners on first and second. Two batters later, Connor Norby reached on a fielder’s choice where Newton was out at second and Worrell was moving to third. But on the same play, Memphis shortstop Ben Brooks threw the ball away at first allowing Worrell to slide home for the game-winning run.

Garrett Saylor (3-0) picked up the win in relief allowing one run (earned) on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts in two innings. Starter Jake Kuchmaner gave up three runs (all earned) on six hits with a pair of walks and one strikeout in 4.2 innings. The Pirates would use three arms to bridge the gap between Kuchmaner and Saylor getting outings from Matt Bridges (0.1 IP, 1 H), Carter Spivey (1.0 IP, 2 Ks) and C.J. Mayhue (1.0 IP, 3 Rs, 1 K).

Reed Harding (0-1) suffered the loss allowing one run (unearned) on three hits with a pair of walks in 1.2 innings of relief. Starter Landon Kelly was touched for four runs (all earned) on six hits with three walks and a pair of punch outs in three innings. Carson Stinnett (2.0 IP, 1 R, 3 BBs), Dalton Kendrick (1.1 IP, 2 Rs) and Walker Brockhouse (0.1 IP, 1 K) also pitched out of the bullpen for the Tigers.

The Pirates struck first plating a run in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. With two away, Zach Agnos reached on an infield single, took second on a passed ball and after Bryson Worrell walked, he scored on Ben Newton’s single to right-center.

Alec Trela’s sixth home run of the season highlighted a three-run frame for the Tigers in the third, who took their first lead of the day 3-1. Hunter Goodman’s sac fly to left-center plated Braden Webb that tied the game at one-all, but Trela stepped to the plate and delivered a two-run shot on an 0-1 offering from Kuchmaner.

ECU responded with three runs of its own in the home half of the third pulling ahead by one, 4-3. Thomas Francisco hit his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to get things going and Worrell’s two-run double scored Seth Caddell and Josh Moylan.

The Pirates scored single runs in the fifth (Newton sac fly), sixth (Moylan RBI ground out) and seventh innings (Lane Hoover RBI single), while the Tigers pushed across a pair in the seventh and eighth stanzas tying the game at seven-all.

Eight Pirates registered at least one hit in the game while Francisco, Newton, Norby and Worrell each had two each. Newton and Worrell plated a pair of runs, while Agnos, Francisco and Worrell each scored twice.

ECU and Memphis will close out the four-game series on Sunday with an 11:30 a.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch that will be streamed on ESPN+.

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