No. 22 East Carolina rolls past Charlotte in series opener

Sports

GREENVILLE, N.C. – No. 22 East Carolina’s offense pounded out a season-high 17 hits and scored a season best 14 runs in 14-4 win over Charlotte Friday afternoon at Robert & Mariam Hayes Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 10-3, while the 49ers fall to 8-6.

The Pirates wasted little time in getting on the board scoring a pair of runs in the second inning for an early 2-0 lead. Seth Caddell got things going when he laced his second career triple to straight-away center field to begin the frame. After a pair of strikeouts, Connor Norby and Skylar Brooks drew consecutive walks before Ryder Giles poked a two-strike offering to right field pushing across Caddell and Norby.

Alec Burleson (2-1) got the win allowing four runs (all earned) on eight hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in 5.2 innings. The lefty was on cruise control until he got to the sixth stanza having allowed just one hit through five before the Niners put together their four-run frame. The Pirates used five arms out of the bullpen getting outings from Brooks (1 BB), C.J. Mayhue (1.1 IP, 1 K), Parker Boyle (0.1 IP, 1 BB), A.J. Wilson (0.2 IP, 1 K) and Nick Logush (1.0 IP, 3 Ks).

Bryce McGowan (2-2) took the loss after being touched for five runs (four earned) on seven hits while issuing five walks and fanning six in 4.2 innings. Charlotte went to its pen often using Patrick Szczypinski (0.2 IP, 2 Rs), Jackson Boss (0.2 IP, 2 Ks), Nick Turnbull (0.2 IP, 2 Rs), Ethan Earhart (0.2 IP, 2 Rs), Will Palinkas (1.0 IP, 3 Rs) and Justin Offschanka (1.0 IP, 3 Ks) in relief.

ECU added to its lead in the third on Christian Jayne’s RBI base hit to center that scored Burleson, who singled with one out, for a 3-0 advantage.

The Pirates scored a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth innings pushing the lead seven, 7-0. With runners on the corners, Norby dropped down a bunt single to third base plating Burleson for the first run in the fifth. During the next at bat, Worrell scored on a passed ball from third accounting for the other run. In the sixth, Lane Hoover belted his first collegiate home run with Giles standing on first extending the lead to seven.

In the bottom of the sixth, Charlotte finally got on the board scoring four runs on five hits and pulling within three, 7-4. Rafi Vazquez’ three-run shot to dead centerfield put the Niners on the board scoring Dominic Pilolli and David McCabe in front of him. Todd Elwood scored the last run on Jacob Whitley’s bases loaded walk off of Brooks. Mayhue, who entered the game with the bases juiced and two outs in the stanza, got Carson Johnson swinging to end the threat.

ECU tacked on two runs in the second and five more in the eighth capping the scoring at 14-4 for its 10th win of the season.

All nine starters registered at least one hit with Agnos (two), Burleson (three), Caddell (two), Giles (three), Hoover (two) and Jayne (two) registering multiple base knocks in the contest. Giles and Hoover each plated three runs, while Jayne drove in a pair.

ECU and Charlotte will return to the diamond on Saturday, March 7 with a 3 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.

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