Pirates thump Spartans
Published 9:58 am Thursday, March 19, 2009
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — All 14 East Carolina batters recorded at least one hit and all but one drove in at least one run as the 23rd-ranked Pirates defeated Norfolk State 26-6 Wednesday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Pirates (13-4) set a new season-high with its 26 runs, while also setting a season-high in hits (27). Eight players recorded two or more hits on the night with senior Stephen Batts leading the way with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate. Kyle Roller, Trent Whitehead and Ryan Wood each had three hits, while Jared Avchen, Cam Freeman, Dustin Harrington and Broc Sutton added two apiece.
Sutton tied a career-high with four RBI and led eight players with multi-RBI games. On the night, the Pirates belted a season-high six home runs, one shy of tying the school record which has been done twice in ECU’s history (last was Feb. 9, 2001 against Western Carolina).
Trailing 4-2 to the Spartans (3-6) in the third inning, the Pirates scored eight runs to take a 10-4 lead and never looked back. Avchen high-lighted the 8-run frame with his second homer of the game, a two-run shot to left field.
Cam Freeman collected two hits during the third inning reaching on a infield single and later hitting his first collegiate home run, a two-run shot to left field. The first six batters reached base scoring three runs before NSU could record an out. In all the Pirates sent 12 hitters to the plate pushing across eight runs on eight hits.
Bailey Daniels (1-0) picked up the win for the Pirates allowing one run on four hits in 2 1/3 innings. Starter Shawn Armstrong was tagged for four runs (three earned) on three hits in 2 1/3 frames. From the fifth inning on, the Pirates used four pitchers (Mike Wright, Joe O’Malley, Lance Honeycutt and Seth Simmons) to close out the game, which allowed one run over the final 4 1/3 innings.
Spartans starter Jason Donovan (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits in two innings. Ryan Davis relieved Donovan in the third and gave up four runs on four hits one inning of work. Chase Davenport (1.0 IP, 3 R, 2 H), Ryan Shook (1.0 IP, 1 H), Quinn Bright (1.0 IP, 1 R, 2 H), Horace Smith (0.0 IP, 6 R, 4 H) and Jason Barker (2.0 IP, 6 R, 7 H) closed out the game on the mound.
Batts put ECU on the board in the first with a solo shot down the left field line for an early 1-0 advantage.
Avchen extended the Pirates lead to 2-0 in the second with his first homer of the season, a two-out shot down the left field line.
The Spartans put up a four-spot in the top half of the third to take a 4-2 lead thanks in part to a three-run home run by John Lynch. Cameron Parsons led off with a single then took second when TiQuan Griffin was plunked by an Armstrong pitch setting up Lynch’s first homer of the season. Chris Joyce, who reached on a fielding error, came around to score when Jermaine Berry reached on a fielding error himself.
ECU would plate three runs in the fourth, one in the sixth, 10 in the seventh and two in the eighth to cap the scoring at 26, while Norfolk State added a run in the fourth and seventh frames.
The Pirates will continue its 10-game home stand this weekend when they welcome in UCF to start Conference USA play. First pitch is schedule for 7 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, Mar. 20.