No. 19 Pirates take down Seahawks

Published 11:11 am Thursday, March 26, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — East Carolina had won its previous seven games thanks to some big-time hitting. While the No. 19 Pirates were held to single digits for the first time in seven outings, they won their eighth straight thanks to some nifty pitching.
Brad Mincey, Kevin Brandt and Seth Maness combined on an eight-hit shutout, as the Pirates took a 3-0 win over the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks on a chilly Wednesday evening at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Mincey (4-1), who made his first start of the season and the third of his career, picked up the win. He scattered six hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Mincey didn’t mind that his offense gave him just three runs of support.
Brandt and Maness combined to hold the Seahawks (17-5) to two hits over the final 3 1/3 innings.
Kyle Roller continued his hot hitting with a pair of hits and an RBI, while leadoff batter Trent Whitehead scored twice for the Pirates (18-4, 3-0 C-USA).
ECU took a 1-0 lead in the first. Whitehead slapped a first-pitch single up the middle and the sophomore went to second on a passed ball. After Stephen Batts was plunked, Roller (2-for-4, RBI) laced a single into right to score Whitehead.
Roller helped the Pirates take a 2-0 advantage in the fourth. The junior ripped a leadoff double into the corner in right, then scored on a one-out single by Devin Harris (2-for-3, RBI).
The Pirates tacked on another run, and chased Wilmington starter Justin Bradley (2-1), in the fifth. Whitehead drew a one-out walk, went to third on Ryan Wood’s double and scored when Batts reached on a fielder’s choice for a 3-0 lead. That ended the night for Bradley (3 runs, 6 hits in 4 2/3 innings).
The Seahawks threatened in the sixth. David Shambley reached on a fielder’s choice, Rhett Miller walked and Andrew Cain beat out an infield hit to load the bases with one out.
Brandt came on for Mincey in a dicey situation. The freshman did his job, striking out pinch-hitter Alex Hill and then getting Ben Thielsen to bounce into a force out to end the inning.
Maness, a usual weekend starter, closed it out with two innings of one-hit ball. The All-American, who notched his first save, fanned three.
The Pirates return to Conference USA play this weekend for a three-game series at Marshall. Game times are set for 6 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.