No. 11 Pirates fall to No. 2 Cavaliers|Bats go quiet after first inning

Published 12:21 am Saturday, February 20, 2010

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — The No. 11 East Carolina Pirates got off to a hot start in their season opener Friday at sunny Clark-LeClair Stadium. However, the bats fell silent after the first inning as the No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers captured a 6-2 win in front of 5,012 fans.
“I’m not disappointed,” ECU coach Billy Godwin said. “I thought we got beat today. We didn’t do things to lose the game. Virginia did things to win the game.”
Steven Proscia led the way for the Cavaliers, driving in four runs. That included a two-run blast in the sixth that gave Virginia the lead for good.
Virginia starter Danny Hultzen (1-0) was solid for the Cavaliers (1-0), overcoming a rocky first inning. The sophomore lefty allowed two runs on four hits, fanning four and walking three in six innings.
“You have to credit (Hultzen),” Godwin said. “We allowed him to settle in. I thought he threw very well. An elite-level guy like that is going to do that.”
The Pirates got to Hultzen early, scratching across two runs on a pair of hits. Dustin Harrington slapped a single into right and Kyle Roller, who earned numerous preseason honors, laced a double into left-center. Devin Harris drew a walk to load the bases.
Austin Homan also walked, which scored Harrington. Jared Avchen’s groundout brought in another run for a 2-0 lead.
The Pirates (0-1) couldn’t do much after that, and the Cavaliers scored the final six runs.
“We never answered back,” Roller said. “They’re a great team. It just wasn’t in our cards today.
“We didn’t play our best ball today. Tomorrow will come out with a little chip on our shoulder.”
Virginia tied things up in the fourth. Hultzen led off with a sharp single off ECU starter Seth Maness (0-1). Dan Grovatt followed with another single, which sent Hultzen to third. Proscia’s sac fly scored Hultzen. Jarrett Parker doubled home Grovatt to make it 2-2.
The Cavaliers took a 4-2 lead in the fourth. Proscia blasted a two-run shot into left. Hultzen led off with a single and he scored on Proscia’s blast.
That helped end the day for Maness. The junior allowed the four runs on six hits, striking out four and walking one in 5 2/3 innings.
“They definitely had a great approach up there,” Maness said of the Cavaliers. “The second time through (the lineup) they made some adjustments and took advantage of some good pitches.”
Virginia added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh, coming off ECU reliever Zach Woods. Proscia and Grovatt had RBI singles that extended the lead to 6-2.
Virginia reliever Tyler Wilson kept the Pirates scoreless over the final three innings. He allowed two hits while striking out four and walking two.
The teams resume the series at 2 p.m. today, with Sunday’s finale set for 1 p.m.
ECU’s Patrick Somers didn’t allow a hit and struck out two in 2 1/3 innings of relief.
Kyle Roller (2-4, 2B) and Dustin Harrington (2-4) had multi-hit games for the Pirates.
Former Washington Pam Pack star Trent Whitehead, ECU’s leadoff batter, went 0-3. The junior drew a walk and was hit by a pitch.
Kevin Brandt will start for ECU today. Virginia will counter with Robert Morey.