Bats stay hot for ECU
Published 10:36 am Sunday, March 22, 2009
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — Dustin Harrington, Trent Whitehead and Ryan Wood each had four hits to pace No. 23 East Carolina to a 13-3 win over UCF in game two of a three-game Conference USA series Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Pirates (15-4, 2-0 C-USA), who pounded out 21 hits on the afternoon, had all nine starters record at least one hit for the third consecutive game and sixth time this season. In the last four games ECU has collected 87 hits with 74 of those coming in the last three games (27, 26 and 21).
A five-run first inning is all ECU needed to clinch a series win over UCF (7-14, 0-2 C-USA). After Seth Maness retired the Knights in order, the Pirates offense picked right up from where it left off on Friday night when Whitehead (single) and Wood (double) started the frame with back-to-back base hits. Even though he wasn’t credited with an RBI, Stephen Batts pushed both Whitehead and Wood across home when he reached on a throwing error that put ECU up 2-0.
Kyle Roller, who is batting .611 on the week with three home runs and 12 RBI, drove in the first of his two runs on the day in the opening frame with a single to right that scored Batts from second base. Jared Avchen closed out the scoring with a two-out two-RBI single to right field closing the frame at 5-0.
Maness (2-0) notched his second win of the season on the bump lasting seven innings where he allowed two runs on five hits with a pair of walks and three punch outs. It was the third time this season that the Pinehurst, N.C. native had worked into the seventh frame. Sthil Sowers allowed one run in the eighth inning, a solo blast to Brandon Romans, and finished the frame by allowing three total hits. Sophomore closer Seth Simmons pitched a scoreless ninth giving up two hits and striking out one.
UCF starter Caleb Graham suffered his first loss of the season falling to 1-1. The right-hander was tagged for eight runs (four earned) on nine hits in 2 1/3 innings. Corey Weech lasted 2/3 of an inning surrendering one runs on two hits, while Anthony Figliolia held the Pirates to four runs on 10 hits in the final five innings.
UCF plated a pair of runs in the second with two outs to draw within three, 5-2. Beau Taylor started the two-out rally with a walk then took second when Chris Duffy drew a free pass of his own. Eric Kallstrom plated the Knights first run with a RBI single to right, which was followed by a RBI double down the left field line by Austin Smith.
In the third inning, the Pirates extended their lead to seven, 9-2, thanks to five hits which included consecutive doubles by Drew Schieber and Harrington to start the frame. With one out, Harrington stole third base and came home on a Taylor throwing error for the second run of the inning. Devin Harris followed with a single to left then Whitehead roped a double down the left field line putting runners on the corner for Wood, pushed them home with another single to left field.
ECU would tack on two runs in the fifth and one in each of the seventh and eight frames to finish with a 13-3 lead.
The Pirates will look to sweep the opening C-USA series Sunday morning when the two teams square off at 10:30 a.m.