Pirates sweep doubleheader, series with Cincinnati

ECU Pirates

Ryley Johnson (ECU Sports Information photo)

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – The trio of Tyler Smith, Cam Colmore and C.J. Mayhue combined to toss a six-hit shutout as No. 11 East Carolina completed a four-game American Athletic Conference sweep of Cincinnati,2-0, late Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.

With the win the Pirates improved to 22-5 on the season and 4-0 in league play, while the Bearcats fell to 11-14 overall and 0-4 in conference action.

ECU broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning with a pair of runs and rode its pitching staff to its third shutout in the last seven games and second of the weekend. Jacob Starling got the frame going with a double to left field for his first collegiate hit. Ryder Giles followed with an infield single putting runners on the corner for Connor Norby, who singled to left field scoring Starling. Two batters later Seth Caddell laced another shot to left plating Giles for what would be the final run of the game.

Colmore (3-0) earned the win in relief scattering two hits over three innings while striking out a career-high five batters. C.J. Mayhue, who earned the win in game one, notched his team-leading fifth save with two perfect innings in relief and five strikeouts. Tyler Smith made sixth start of the year giving up four hits and walking one in four-plus innings.

Garrett Schoenle (1-1) suffered the loss allowing both runs in the fifth on seven hits with a walk and six punch outs in five innings. Jackson Murphy gave up four hits and fanned four in 2.2 frames, while Beau Keathley worked one-third of an inning.

Eight of ECU’s starting nine registered at least one hit in the contest with Norby tallying a pair to lead the way. The first six slots in the lineup combined for eight of the 11 hits. Norby extended his hit streak (14 games) and on-base streak (34 games) with a single in the third stanza, while Thomas Francisco’s base knock in the first extended his on-base streak to 31 contests dating back to 2020.

GAME 1 RECAP
ECU earned a series win in the opening game of the doubleheader with a 13-3 victory over Cincinnati in seven innings. The Pirates tallied seven hits getting two each from Alec Makarewicz and Connor Norby, while Ryley Johnson’s first home run (grand slam) highlighted a seven-run fifth inning.

Mayhue (2-1) earned the win in relief working two-thirds of an inning recording two strikeouts. The lefty came into the contest in the fifth frame with two runners on and the Pirates trailing 3-0. Mayhue struck out Eric Santiago and Joe Powell to thwart the potential explosive inning. Starter Jake Kuchmaner gave up three runs (all earned) on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 4.1 innings. The Pirates got relief outings from Josh Grosz (1.0 IP, 1 BB), Danny Beal (0.1, 2 BBs) and Nick Logusch (0.2 IP).

Max Bergmann (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing four runs (all earned) on three hits with three walks and two punch outs in 1.2 innings. Starter Evan Shawver worked two full frames where he was touched for a pair of runs (both earned) on two hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Aiden Bradbury was touched for five runs (all earned) on four walks in one third of a frame before passing the ball to Nathan Moore, who gave up two runs (both earned) on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in two innings.

Trailing 3-0, the Pirates scored 13 unanswered runs pushing across two in the second, four in the fourth and seven in the fifth inning. Zach Agnos plated the first run of the game for ECU with an RBI single through the left side scoring Makarewicz. Giles’ double-play ball plated Moylan cutting the Bearcats lead to one, 3-2.

Three hits along with a couple walks accounted for the Pirates four runs in the fourth that gave them a 6-3 lead. Josh Moylan’s RBI triple to right centers scored Makarewicz, who doubled to start the frame. Ben Newton’s sac fly plated Moylan and Norby’s two-RBI double down the left field line pushed across Agnos and Giles.

Johnson’s grand slam, the first for ECU since May of 2019, put the game out of reach in the fifth. Bradbury walked the first four guys in the stanza and hit one before he was pulled for Moore, who served up a first pitch offering to Johnson that cleared the bases. Seth Caddell’s sac fly to center allowed Norby to tag up from third capping the scoring at 13-3.

ECU returns to AAC play on Friday, April 9 when it welcomes in Memphis for a four-game set. First pitch Friday of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) and will be streamed on ECUPirates.com.

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