Whisenhunt shines again with career-high 11 Ks as Pirates win series with Georgia Southern

ECU Pirates

Carson Whisenhunt (ECU Sports Information photo)

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STATESBORO, Ga. – Carson Whisenhunt struck out a career-high 11 batters over 6.2 scoreless frames helping No. 22 East Carolina to a 9-2 series clinching win over Georgia Southern Sunday afternoon at J.I. Clement Stadium. With the win, the Pirates improve to 6-1 on the year while the Eagles drop to 2-5. 

Whisenhunt (1-0) turned in another stellar performance and in two starts has 21 punch outs in 10.2 innings. The lefty became the fifth freshman hurler in program history to have 11 or more strikeouts in a game and is the first since Brooks Jernigan (1998) to have 10 or more in consecutive starts. On the day he scattered four hits and walked one over his career-best 6.2 frames. Cam Colmore worked a third of an inning getting a strikeout before Gavin Williams came in for the bottom of the eighth frame. Williams, making his season debut, pitched a scoreless eighth with three strikeouts and one walk. Danny Beal (0.0 IP, 1 H, 2 Rs), Ryder Giles (0.2 IP, 2 Hs) and A.J. Wilson (0.1 IP, 1 K) closed out the ninth inning. 

For the seventh time this season, ECU took an early lead and this time it was on a leadoff home run by Connor Norby, a shot to left-center, for his first of the year and third of his career. 

Braden Hays (0-1) took the loss allowing four runs (all earned) on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 4.2 innings. The Eagles would use five pitchers in relief getting outings from Nick Jones (0.2 IP, 2 Hs, 1 R), Jalyn Paden (1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 4 Ks), Hayden Harris (0.2 IP, 1 H), Rhett Gay (0.1 IP) and Tyler Jones (1.0 IP, 2 Hs, 3 Rs, 1 BB, 1 K). 

The Pirates added to their lead in the fourth thanks to Zach Agnos’ first career home run, a two-run shot to center for a 3-0 lead. Seth Caddell led off with a single up the middle but was erased when Thomas Francisco reached on a fielder’s choice. Agnos belted an 0-2 offering for ECU’s second home run of the day and the first of his career. 

Josh Moylan’s RBI double in the fifth extended the Pirates lead to 4-0. With one away, Norby singled up the middle and scored on Moylan’s shot to left field, his sixth RBI of the weekend series. 

Another run in the sixth padded the ECU lead at five, 5-0. Francisco singled up the middle to get things going and moved to second on Agnos’ ground out. Giles single through the right side easily allowed Francisco to score from second. 

ECU added another run in the eighth on Agnos’ RBI-double that scored Caddell from third, 6-0. Caddell walked to start the frame and took second on a wild pitch and third on Francisco’s ground out. Agnos drove in a team-best three runs, which tied his career-high that came earlier this year against Rhode Island on Feb. 21. 

Caddell’s three-run homer to left-center added to the Pirates lead at 9-0. Ryley Johnson singles through the right side for his first collegiate hit and took second when Norby reached on a walk before both scored on Caddell’s third homer of the year. 

The Eagles scored a pair of late runs in the ninth capping the scoring at 9-2. 

Offensively, seven Pirates collected a hit with Agnos (two), Caddell (two) and Norby (three) leading the way. Norby scored a team-best three runs, while Caddell and Francisco crossed home twice on the day. 

ECU returns home on Wednesday, March 3 when it plays host to Old Dominion. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. (EST) and will be streamed on ESPN+

Post-Game Notes: 

  • ECU dropped to 154-41 (6-1 in 2021) when scoring first under head coach Cliff Godwin … 
  • The Pirate pitching staff struck out a season-high 18 batters marking the fifth consecutive game with double-digit punch outs (sixth time this season) … 
  • Offensively, they pounded out 11 hits marking the fifth-straight game with 10 or more base knocks … 
  • Connor Norby extended his hit streak to 14-straight games with his leadoff home run to start the game, his first of the season and third of his career … Tallied his team-leading fifth multi-hit game of the season and 13th of his career with a double down the left field line in the third inning …  
  • Josh Moylan drove in his sixth run of the weekend and now has eight RBI on the season … 
  • Seth Caddell belted his team-leading third home run, which was the 11th of his career … 

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