No. 20 Pirates maul Bulldogs

Published 8:47 am Thursday, March 12, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — No late-game magic would be needed this time out.
The No. 20 East Carolina Pirates routed the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs, 21-1, on a warm Wednesday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
ECU (10-2) tallied five runs in the first inning and never relented against the Bulldogs (3-11). The Pirates collected double-digit hits for the 12th straight time, finishing with 17, and scored at least two runs in every inning except the fourth.
During the onslaught, Dustin Harrington (16 games), Stephen Batts (14 games), Ryan Wood (10 games) and Trent Whitehead (nine games) extended their hitting streaks.
Whitehead, a former standout at Washington High School, extended his hitting streak with a single in the fifth. The sophomore reached base in all four of his plate appearances, walking twice and reaching on an error before his single.
Wood (2-3, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), Harrington (2-5, 3 runs), Austin Homan (2-3, 4 RBIs), Drew Schieber (2-2, 3 RBIs), Jared Avchen (2-2, 2 RBIs), Zach Wright (2-4, 2 RBIs) and Corey Thompson (2-3) all had multiple hits. Ten different batters collected a hit, and 23 Pirates saw game action.
Shawn Armstrong (1-0), a West Craven graduate, earned the victory in his Pirate debut. The freshman, who tossed 62 pitches in his first start, gave up two hits and walked one in four innings.
Mike Wright (one strikeout, one hit in one inning), Joe O’Malley (one run, one hit in one inning), Chocowinity’s Britton Cole (one strikeout, one hit in one inning), Wood (two strikeouts, one hit in one inning) and Lance Honeycutt (one strikeout, one hit in one inning) also saw time on the hill.
Uncharacteristically, the Pirates took the early lead, batting around in a five-run first. Whitehead drew a leadoff walk and he raced home on a single by Wood.
Avchen’s two-run double into the right field corner was the big blow in the first. That all but ended the day for Asheville starter Dan Weller (0-1).
Schieber’s two-run double highlighted a three-run second, which pushed ECU’s lead to 8-0.
A pair of sac flies in the third gave the Pirates a 10-0 advantage.
Freshman Zach Wright belted his first home run as a Pirate to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Batts had an RBI-single and Kyle Roller had his second sac fly of the game to increase ECU’s lead to 13-0.
ECU chalked up three more runs in the sixth. Homan had an RBI-single and Brett Bowers drew a bases-loaded walk in the frame, giving ECU a 16-1 advantage.
The crooked numbers continued in the seventh with two more runs.
Zach Wright hit an RBI-double and Homan slapped a two-run single in the eighth to cap the scoring.
ECU returns to Clark-LeClair for a three-game series with the UCLA Bruins. Game times are 5 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.