Pirates break out the whooping sticks

Published 2:26 pm Thursday, March 27, 2008

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — East Carolina’s bats came back to life in a big way.
One game after being held to a season-low four hits, the Pirates collected 15 en route to an 11-3 thumping of the Campbell Camels. Corey Kemp, Ryan Wood and Stephen Batts all hit home runs in Wednesday’s win, coming in front of 3,721 fans at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Pirates (16-6, 1-2 Conference USA), breaking the game wide open with four runs in both the third and fourth innings, avenged a 2-0 loss to the Camels (9-14) last year. Harrison Eldridge and Jamie Ray had three hits apiece for ECU. Wood, Batts and Kemp each had two.
ECU starter Sthil Sowers (2-1) was the beneficiary of the offensive attack. The freshman, who earned his second win of the season, allowed two runs on six hits over six innings. Sowers struck out five and didn’t walk any.
Kemp, who went deep three times Saturday, jacked a solo home run in the second to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. It was the sixth of the season for the senior catcher.
The Camels, putting runners at the corners, threatened in the third. ECU snuffed out the threat when John Watlington, who singled to lead off the inning, was thrown out at the plate on a double-steal attempt.
Six straight Pirates reached base in the bottom of the inning, which led to four runs. Kemp delivered the big blow with a bases-loaded, two-run single. An error allowed a third run to score on the play.
Stephen Batts added an RBI-single in the inning as ECU jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
That helped end the day for Campbell starter Carlton Floyd (0-2). The lefty allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in 2 2/3 innings.
ECU scored four more runs in the fourth. Wood blasted a three-run shot, his team-leading seventh, over the fence in right. That ended the stint for Camel reliever Richard Gaito (three runs, four hits in one inning).
Batts greeted Campbell’s third pitcher, Matt Martinez, with his fourth homer of the season to push the lead to 9-1.
Eldridge had an RBI-single and later scored on a wild pitch to increase ECU’s lead to 11-2 in the sixth.
Campbell scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings. Brandon Scott had an RBI-double in the fourth and Ryan Hamme had a run-scoring single in the fifth. An ECU error allowed Campbell to score its third run.
Brett Butts, Matt Cox, Matt Mincey and Britton Cole all pitched in relief for the Pirates. Cole, who is from Chocowinity, made his first appearance with the Pirates. He allowed one hit, struck out two and walked one in the ninth.
ECU freshman outfielder Trent Whitehead, a former standout at Washington High School, made his ninth start of the season. He went 0-for-3 at the plate and had two putouts.
The Pirates head to Florida to face the No. 19 UCF Knights (20-4, 1-2 C-USA) in a three-game C-USA series this weekend. The games will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
ECU will be back home Tuesday against N.C. State.
Campbell 000 110 010 — 3 8 1
East Carolina 014 402 00x — 11 15 1
WP: Sthil Sowers (2-1); LP: Carlton Floyd (0-2)
Hitters: C — Ellis Lowe 2-3 (2B), John Watlington 2-4, Ryan Hamme 2-5 (RBI), Graham Fronk 1-2, Brandon Scott 1-4 (2B, RBI); ECU — Jamie Ray 3-3 (3B), Harrison Eldridge 3-4 (RBI), Corey Kemp 2-4 (HR, 3 RBI), Ryan Wood 2-4 (HR, 3 RBI), Stephen Batts 2-4 (HR, 2 RBI), Jon Ratledge 1-1 (2B), Dustin Harrington 1-3, Kyle Roller 1-3