Whisenhunt’s first start one to remember as Pirates sweep Rams

ECU Pirates

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Making his first career start on the mound, Carson Whisenhunt struck out a career-high 10 batters over four innings, while his offense pounded out 12 hits as No. 13 East Carolina completed the weekend series sweep over Rhode Island Sunday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium, 12-4.

Whisenhunt, who is the first freshman starter with 10 or more punchouts in a game since Jake Agnos in 2017, allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits and walked one with his double-digit strikeout performance. After the Rams (0-3) leadoff hitter reached on an error in the first, he then struck out the side and the first two batters in the second frame (five-straight). The lefty fanned the last two hitters in the third stanza and then the side in the fourth retiring another five consecutive batters via a strikeout.

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The Pirates (3-0) wasted little time in getting on the board scoring three runs in the bottom of the first for a 3-0 advantage. Lane Hoover walked to with one out and took second on a failed pickoff attempt at first. Caddell followed with an RBI single to center for the game’s first run. Thomas Francisco and Connor Norby loaded the bases with singles of their own before Zach Agnos walked pushing across Caddell. Josh Moylan plated his first career run with the Pirates on a sac fly to center that scored Francisco.

Danny Beal (1-0) picked up his first collegiate win in his Pirate debut working a scoreless fifth inning and allowing a walk. C.J. Mayhue made his second appearance of the weekend with a scoreless sixth (1 H, 1 K), while Agnos was touched for a pair of runs (both earned) on two hits in the seventh. Skylar Brooks (1 BB, 1 K) and Josh Grosz closed out the contest each tossing an inning of relief.

Vitaly Jangols (0-1) suffered the loss allowing three runs (all earned) on four hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts in three innings. From there, the Rams used four arms out of the bullpen getting outings from Zach Fernandez (2.1 IP, 4 Rs, 1 K), Domenic Picone (0.1 IP, 1 R), Broc French (1.1 IP, 1 R) and Todd Moxey (1.0 IP, 3 Rs).

Rhode Island answered with a pair of runs in the top of the third making it a one run game, 3-2. Tino Salgado drew a one-out walk and moved to second on Josh Brodeur’s bunt just to the left of the pitcher’s mound. Greg Cavaliere followed with a single to left field plating Salgado and Addison Kopack’s soft single to right scored Brodeur.

Agnos’ RBI infield single in the fifth scored Francisco for third pushing the lead to two, 4-2. The Pirates blew the game open with a four-spot in the sixth for an 8-2 advantage highlighted by Agnos and Bryson Worrell.

The Rams scored two in the seventh, while ECU pushed across a run in the seventh and three in the eighth thanks to Brooks’ first career home run, a three-run shot.

ECU returns to action Tuesday, February 23 when it plays host to nationally-ranked Duke with a 4 p.m. (EDT) pitch scheduled.

Post-Game Notes:
ECU improved 151-40 (3-0 in 2021) when scoring first under head coach Cliff Godwin …
Carson Whisenhunt made his first collegiate start getting the nod on the on the mound … The lefty fanned 10 batters and is the first freshman since Jake Agnos (2017) with double-digit strikeouts in a contest …
Lane Hoover extended his on-base streak to 10-straight games dating back to the 2020 season with a walk in the first inning … In the fifth frame, he pushed his hitting streak to 10 games with a single to left field …
Connor Norby extended his hit streak to 10-straight games with his single in the first … He tallied his 11th career multi-hit games (second of the season) going 2-for-4 on the day …
Skylar Brooks hit his first career home run, a three-run shot, in the bottom of the eighth inning …
Bryson Worrell extended his on-base streak to 11 games with his single in the sixth … With his 2-for-6 performance, he now has 14 career multi-hit and 11 career multi-RBI games …
On the weekend, ECU tallied 14 two-out hits and had 12 two-out RBI …

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