Long Balls Lift Pirates Past Mountaineers, 5-2
Published 3:49 am Monday, March 10, 2003
From ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE -- Mark Minicozzi and Jake Smith each hit home runs and Ashley Capps turned in a stellar starting pitching performance as East Carolina defeated Appalachian State, 5-2, in college baseball Sunday at Harrington Field.
The Pirates improve to 10-4-1 overall while ASU is now 2-9.
Capps (3-0) tossed one-hit baseball over seven complete innings while registering five strikeouts. After giving up an unearned run on one hit and a walk in the second inning, Capps retired the last 17 consecutive batters he faced.
Kevin Rhodes and Greg Bunn pitched a scoreless inning apiece to close out the game, with Bunn completing the ninth for his fourth save.
ASU got on the board first when Eric Pittman led off with an infield single, advanced to second when Brian Chapman walked, then came home when a sacrifice bunt by Derek Smith was thrown away for an error.
The Pirates knotted the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second on Jake Smith's solo homer, his fourth.
ECU plated the go-ahead run in the fifth when Ryan Jones hit a one-out single, then scored on Ben Sanderson's RBI double to make it 2-1.
Minicozzi's solo shot, his third home run of the season, in the sixth made it a 3-1 game, and Mike Harrington added an RBI single later that inning for a 4-1 lead.
The Pirates closed out their scoring with a single run without benefit of a hit in the seventh. Sanderson led off with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on Luke Cherry's groundout, then scored on a wild pitch.
ASU trimmed the lead to 5-2 in the eighth on Joey Robinson's RBI single.
The Mountaineers brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth when Bunn gave up a leadoff, infield single to Ben Marsh then walked Graham Thompson. However, the 2002 Freshman All-America closer settled in to retire the last three batters on a pop up, strikeout, and ground out to end the threat.
The Pirates host UNC Wilmington in another non-conference game on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
Luke Cherry had his eight-game hitting streak snapped as he was 0-for-2 with a pair of walks today.
In the two games against Appalachian State this weekend, Pirate pitching allowed a combined seven hits and no earned runs.