Pirates fall to James Madison in Game 2Published 5:28pm Sunday, February 16, 2014
By Michael Prunka
East Carolina (1-1) hoped to build off of Friday’s 6-5 walk-off win, but James Madison (1-1) had other plans. The Dukes, despite getting outhit, held the Pirates scoreless for eight of nine innings en route to a 5-2 victory.
The first pitch was delayed two hours due to rain. Once the game got underway, both sides jumped out to a hot start. Pitcher David Lucroy hit JMU’s Tyler Gregory with the bases loaded, which forced Ty McFarland in for the first run of the contest. ECU responded with two runs of its own. Ian Townsend’s RBI single plated Dylan Brown and Ian Townsend ended up scoring on a wild pitch.
JMU bounced right back with a three-run effort in the second inning to take a 4-2 lead. Kyle Weston, Chad Carroll and Conner Brown all scored on RBI singles.
“We got in a hole right there early in the game,” said Manager Billy Godwin. “Four runs in the first two innings, but I thought our relief pitching was outstanding. Pretty much when [Brett] Mabry came in, from then on out, I thought they were outstanding.”
David Lucroy started on the mound for the Pirates, but only lasted two innings. During that stretch, he gave up six hits, four runs (all earned) and was credited with the loss. Mabry took over in the third and stuck around for five innings. He only allowed three hits, one run (none earned) and struck out four of JMU’s batters.
Jacob Wolfe and Reid Love finished out the night. In two combined innings, neither pitched allowed any hits or runs.
ECU had a chance to rally back in the sixth inning. Brett Mabry gave up no runs, no hits and only walked one of the four batters he faced. But even after an impressive defensive showing, the Pirates couldn’t follow up at the plate. They had two men on base with only one out, but Kirk Morgan grounded into a JMU’s third double play of the night.
“We felt like we hit the ball well,” said Drew Reynolds, who went 2-5 at the plate. “We had 11 hits. I think we hit into three or four double plays, some of them with multiple guys on base. We had some runners in scoring position. Ultimately, you’ve got to give them the credit. They stranded the runners when they needed to.”
The Pirates will have the chance to come back and win the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Clark-LeClair Stadium.