Tulane routs East Carolina in series opener

Published 11:39 am Saturday, March 15, 2014

By Michael Prunka

Sports Intern

East Carolina’s (8-10, 1-3 Conference-USA) skid continued with a loss in its series opener versus Tulane (10-6, 3-1 C-USA). The Green Wave defeated the Pirates 7-2 to hand them their fourth-straight loss.

ECU’s offensive woes continued in Game 1 of the series. Even with Drew Reynolds and Ian Townsend back in the lineup after missing two games, the Pirates still couldn’t muster much scoring. They managed to improve upon their four-hit performance in Wilson against Wake Forest, but failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position.

“We swung the bats fairly well,” said Reynolds. “We had 11 hits. We had some hard-hit outs. We had plenty of chances to get guys in and I feel like we were that one big hit away from getting a big inning in there and getting some things rolling. We weren’t able to do that.”

The Pirates snapped their 11-inning scoreless streak, which started in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against Wake Forest, with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. With men on first and second, Drew Reynolds grounded out to shortstop and plated Charlie Yorgen. Zach Houchins followed up with an RBI of his own—a single to center field that allowed Hunter Allen to score from second.

“It was good to get them back out there,” said manager Billy Godwin about having Townsend and Reynolds back in the lineup. “We missed them. We got to get them out there. All about this game […] is just getting on the field and playing the game and getting in some type of groove. It was certainly good to see Drew do that. I think that’s hit first three-hit game of the year. He’s that kind of guy for us. He can get hot an carry this team.”

The two-run burst was too little, too late, though. Tulane had just come off a two-hit, four-run showing in the top of the inning to extend its lead to 7-0. ECU’s two scores did little more than end what would have been a shutout.

ECU had its first chance to take a lead in the bottom of the first when Townsend, batting cleanup, stepped up with no outs and the bases loaded. Tulane quickly shut it down when Townsend batted into a double play at first that saw Green Wave catcher stop Ben Fultz before he could score.

Tulane took a 3-0 lead by the end of the sixth that proved to be enough to put away the Pirates. Jeff Hoffman (0-3) was credited with his third loss of the season. He surrendered six runs (five earned) on seven hits in 6.1 innings pitched.

ECU and Tulane face off in a doubleheader starting tomorrow afternoon starting at 1 p.m. The first pitch of the second game will be approximately 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first.