Pirates take series over UCF with 11-6 victory

Sports
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ORLANDO, Fla. – The trio of Andrew Henrickson, Connor Litton and Bryant Packard drove in a combined six runs, while the bullpen allowed just two over the final six frames helped No. 18 ECU to an American Athletic Conference road series win at No. 20 UCF, 11-6, Sunday afternoon at John Euliano Park. With the win the Pirates improve to 18-5 overall and 2-1 in AAC play, while the Knights drop to 18-8 and 1-2.

How It Happened:
ECU scored four runs in the fourth frame taking a 5-4 advantage and never looked back. The Pirates, who retook the lead, got RBI from Connor Litton (double), Brady Lloyd (single) Chandler Jenkins (single) and Seth Caddell (sac fly). Spencer Brickhouse’s sac fly to right field in the fifth scored Bryant Packard from third giving ECU a 6-4 lead. Rylan Thomas drove in his third run of the contest after hitting a solo home run to right-center in the bottom of the fifth making it a one run game, 6-5. The Pirates plated four more runs in the sixth their lead to five, 10-5 thanks to a two-RBI a double from Andrew Henrickson, a RBI sac fly by Packard and a RBI base knock from Turner Brown. UCF pulled within four, 10-6, on Chandler Robertson’s RBI single to left in the sixth inning. The Pirates added another run in the ninth to cap the scoring at 11-6. Packard staked ECU to an early 1-0 lead belting his third home run of the season, a solo shot, to straight-away center field on the game’s second pitch from JJ Montgomery. UCF responded with three in the bottom of the first frame taking a 3-1 lead. Thomas’ two-RBI single to right center scored Ray Alejo and Robertson. Two batters later, Dallas Beaver’s RBI base hit to center plated Thomas. Logan Heiser’s sac bunt scored Matthew Mika from third extending the Knights lead to three, 4-1, in the third inning.

Godwin’s Take:
“This was a great series win for us going on the road and playing a really good team. We didn’t pitch well, but offensively we hung in there and got to their bullpen. It was good to see Gavin get back out there and he along with (Zach) Barnes really shut the door over the final three innings.”

Pirate Pitchers:
Matt Bridges (1-0) got the win in relief allowing just one run (earned) on one hit in 1.1 innings. Tyler Smith worked three-plus innings allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with a pair of walk and two strikeouts in his third start of the year. ECU also got work out of the bullpen from Ryan Ross (0.2 IP, 1 R, 1 BB, 1K), Sam Lanier (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K), Gavin Williams (2.1 IP, 2 Ks) and Zach Barnes (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K).

Knights Staff:
JJ Montgomery (3-1) suffered the loss after working four innings where he surrendered five runs (all earned) on six hits with a walk and one strikeout. Also appearing out of the pen for the Knights were Luis Ferrer (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R), Eric Hepple (1.0 IP, 3 Hs, 4 Rs, 2 BBs, 2 Ks) and Cre Finfronk (3.1 IP, 2 Hs, 1 R, 2 BBs, 4 Ks).

 Things To Know:

  • The Pirates improved to 10-0 when recording 10 or more hits in a game …
  • Packard extended his on-base streak to six games with his homer in the first … He registered his seventh multi-hit game of the season with a single to right-center in the fifth frame …
  • Brown’s on-base streak reached 11 games with his single to right field in the first frame … He also tallied his third multi-hit game of the year with a single up the middle in the fourth …
  • Lloyd recorded his team-leading ninth multi-hit game with his second single of the afternoon in the sixth …
  • In Game 3’s this season, the Pirates have outscored their opponents 56-11 and are 6-0 …

Up Next:
ECU will be back in action on Thursday, March 29 when it plays host to new AAC member Wichita State at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (ET) and will be streamed online via the American Digital Network.

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