No. 25 ECU crushes N.C. Central|Pirates puts up big numbers

Published 7:30 am Saturday, March 27, 2010

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Despite the chilly, windy conditions, the bats were hot for the No. 25 East Carolina Pirates. An 11-run third inning helped the Pirates clobber the N.C. Central Eagles 30-4 Friday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The 30 runs scored was the second most in a single game in ECU history. ECU’s record is 32, set in a 32-14 win over Cincinnati on April 17, 2004.
The 26-run difference tied the largest margin of victory in history. The previous high was 26, set in a 26-0 win over William &Mary on March 29, 1987.
“I wish we could get 30 every game,” ECU coach Billy Godwin said. “It’s not that easy. The guys swung the bats well and I’m proud of them.”
ECU, which banged out 25 hits, tallied seven runs in the seventh, five in the fourth and five in the sixth. The Pirates had 15 different players score runs and 12 collect at least one hit.
The Pirates (14-8), who have scored at least 11 runs in four of the last five games, have won five straight. They also kept the Eagles (0-20) winless on the season.
Zach Wright (2-6, HR, 3 runs, 5 RBIs) hits his second grand slam in as many games, while Chris Gosik also belted a grand slam.
Devin Harris (3-4, 3 runs), Austin Homan (3-5) and Daniel Warzon (3-3, HR, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) each had three hits and drove in four. Corey Thompson (3-5, 4 runs, RBI) and Philip Clark (3-4, 3 runs, RBI) also had three hits.
Leadoff batter Trent Whitehead (1-3, 3 runs, 1 steal) scored three times over the first three innings.
Dustin Harrington (2-3, 2 RBIs) and Billy Walling (2-4) each had two hits.
“Everybody got an opportunity tonight,” Godwin said. “I’m really proud of the guys who got the chance. Somewhere down the road we’re going to need that depth.”
Somewhat lost in the hit barrage was the performance of ECU starter Kevin Brandt (2-2). The sophomore southpaw allowed just one hit and struck out eight in five innings of work.
“I thought he was outstanding,” Godwin said. “It was good that we didn’t have to extend him and push him with Tulane coming in next week.”
The Pirates scored 11 times in the third, taking advantage of seven hits, three Central errors and three walks, to push their lead to 13-0. ECU, which sent 16 batters to the plate, chased Central starter Jeff Citero (0-3) in the inning. Citero allowed 12 runs (4 earned) on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Seven different batters drove in at least one run in the uprising. Harris had two hits and drove in two, while Homan doubled in a pair. Whitehead scored for the third time in as many innings.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first. Whitehead led off by drawing a walk and he eventually scored on a sac fly off the bat of Harris.
ECU went up 2-0 in the second. Whitehead hit a two-out single, stole second and scored on Harrington’s bloop single.
Wright belted hit grand slam in the fourth, coming after an RBI-single by Harris, for an 18-0 lead.
Warzon’s three-run shot and Homan’s two-run double in the sixth made it 23-1.
Gosik’s slam highlighted a seven-run seventh that made it 30-1.
Blake Murray broke up Brandt’s no-hit bid with a two-out single in the fifth.
It looked like Central got its first hit off Brandt in the fourth.
Lance Honeycutt (1 R, 1 K, 2 BB), D.J. Jauss (1 K), Patrick Somers (1 R, 3 H, 1 K) and Mark Wilder (2 R, 3 H, 2 K, 1 BB) each pitched an inning.
The teams play again at 3 p.m. today. ECU’s Seth Maness (3-2) will square off against Central’s Drew Robinson (0-4).
The series finale is set for 1 p.m. Sunday. Brad Mincey (1-1) gets the nod for the Pirates. The Eagles will counter with Douglas Dalley (0-0).