Pirates shut out Wolfpack

Published 12:11 pm Thursday, April 10, 2014

By Michael Prunka

For The Washington Daily News

After coming up short last week, East Carolina earned a decisive 7-0-shutout win over No. 25 North Carolina State to snap the Wolfpack’s four-game win streak in the series.

The Pirates played as close to a perfect game as they have all season. They took the lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning — which would prove to be the winning score — and held off the Wolfpack’s offense with exceptional work in the field and at the mound.

“Brett Mabry was outstanding,” said manager Billy Godwin of his starting pitcher. “Just to come out there in that role against a very good opponent, we couldn’t have scripted it any better…I was really proud of our effort. I thought out guys played outstanding [and] with a lot of confidence.”

The pitching staff showed confidence from top to bottom. Mabry (3-0) earned his third win of the season by surrendering five hits and no runs with six strikeouts in six innings of work. Ryan Williams pitched two innings of relief before Drew Reynolds stepped in as the closer. The duo of relievers surrendered a hit each.

N.C. State had chances to take the lead multiple times. The Wolfpack put players in scoring position in the first and third innings, but ended up leaving 10 runners stranded—twice as many as the Pirates.

The Pirates, however, continued to show strong situational hitting and aggressive base running that allowed them to score seven runs on seven hits.

“I think our situational hitting is getting better and better,” Godwin said. “It starts with Townsend [in the first] with two strikes, less than two outs, man on third, getting a sac-fly to ignite us. The running game and getting guys in with two outs — a lot of those good things we talk about and work on as a program are sprinkled throughout this game.”

Reynolds opened up the game in the bottom of the seventh. ECU’s offense had plenty of momentum after Williams came in and struck out the side in the top of the inning. With Hunter Allen on second and Garrett Brooks on third, Reynolds drilled a triple directly between N.C. State’s center and right fielders that plated both runners. He scored shortly after via an RBI single by Houchins.

“I was just glad I got something on to drive the runs in,” said Reynolds about his first career triple. “As soon as the ball came off my bat, I just felt good knowing that that run on third, at least, was going to get in.”