WICHITA, Kan. – Tyler Smith worked a season-high six innings with four strikeouts, while his offense pounded out 12 hits as No. 10 East Carolina took game three of the weekend series over Wichita State 11-3 at Eck Stadium Saturday afternoon.
With the win the Pirates improve to 30-8 on the season and 12-3 in American Athletic Conference play and the Shockers fall to 21-17 and 9-9.
The Pirates wasted little time in getting on the board scoring five runs in the first inning for a 5-0 lead. Connor Norby started the game with a single which was followed by Thomas Francisco’s double. Two batters later Alec Makarewicz laced a two-run single to left field clearing the bases. Lane Hoover walked to keep the frame going and Zach Agnos doubled to left-center plating Makarewicz and Hoover. Bryson Worrell collected the fifth hit (third double) of the inning scoring Agnos.
Smith (2-2) allowed just one run (earned) on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts on the day. The right-hander faced the minimum over 4.1 innings despite giving up single in the second and walk in the fourth, which were both erased on stolen base attempts. Josh Grosz gave up a pair of runs (both earned) on four hits with a strikeout in his 1.1 innings of relief. C.J. Mayhue came in with runners on second and third and one out in the eighth inning and struck out the two batters he faced. Danny Beal worked a scoreless ninth with one strikeout.
Liam Eddy (3-7) didn’t make it out of the first innings as the Pirates struck for five runs (all earned) on five hits with a walk and a strikeout in one-third of an inning. Tommy Barnhouse was touched for a pair of runs (both earned) in his three relief frames, while Spencer Hynes allowed three runs (all earned) in 2.2 innings. Derek Shaver (1.0 IP, 1 BB) and Josh Hansell (2.0 IP, 1 R) worked the final three frames.
Makarewicz collected his second hit of the game in the third inning leading off with a solo blast to center field, his fifth of the year, extending the Pirates’ lead to 6-0.
ECU extended its lead in the fourth on Francisco’s sac fly making it a 7-0 game. Seth Caddell was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved to second on Ryder Giles sac bunt. Norby followed with his second base hit of the game putting runners on the corners for Francisco, who lifted a Hynes pitch to center plating Caddell.
Corrigan Bartlett’s second home run of the weekend and fourth of the season, a solo shot to center, got the Shockers on the board in the fifth, 7-1.
The Pirates scored three runs in the sixth inning with two outs pushing their lead to nine, 10-1. Norby singled home Giles with a shot back up the middle and Francisco blasted his second home run of the series, eighth of the season, a two-run shot to right-center.
Wichita State scored a run in the seventh and eighth frames making it a seven-run contest, 10-3.
Ryley Johnson’s solo home run to right field, his third of the season, capped the scoring at 11-3 on the day.
Eight of ECU’s nine starters in the lineup reached base with seven registering hits. Norby led the way going 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Francisco and Makarewicz both had two hits, scored two runs and drove in three, while Agnos plated a pair of runs.
ECU and Wichita State will conclude the weekend series Sunday, May 2 with a 1 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.