Pirates host annual Purple-Gold World Series

Published 4:46 pm Monday, November 2, 2015

BACK ON THE FIELD: Freshman pitcher Cam Colmore got his first experience in front of a crowd in Clark-LeClair Stadium this past weekend. He started Sunday for the Purple side and threw 2.1 innings.

BACK ON THE FIELD: Freshman pitcher Cam Colmore got his first experience in front of a crowd in Clark-LeClair Stadium this past weekend. He started Sunday for the Purple side and threw 2.1 innings.

GREENVILLE — This past weekend marked East Carolina’s annual Purple-Gold World Series. The yearly event is a three-game series of scrimmages that pit the Pirates against themselves. The Gold team, led by Garrett Brooks, dominated offensively in Friday and Saturday’s games to win the series.

Gold piled on 16 runs in Friday’s opener. Junior college transfer Wes Phillips led the charge by going 3-for-4 and batting in six runs. The team notched 16 hits. Half of those came against Purple pitcher Jacob Wolfe, who conceded five earned runs in three innings to earn the loss.

Meanwhile, Evan Kruczynski threw four scoreless innings. He gave up just three hits and fanned one batter.

“We were just being aggressive,” Brooks said. “Our pitchers were pounding the strike zone. We just wanted to take advantage and score first and keep adding on.”

Brooks and Travis Watkins each hit home runs as Gold took won Saturday’s game 11-1. The team combined for 10 hits — five of which went for extra bases. Purple, already trailing 11-0 going into the top of the seventh, scored its lone run when Kirk Morgan batted in Kendall Ford.

“The offense is a little bit in front of the pitching and the defense,” said head coach Cliff Godwin. “We’ve got some older position players … We’ve put a lot of pressure on the pitchers, especially the freshmen early, which should be good because they’ll be prepared in the spring.”

Purple pitcher Mason Keen struggled. He surrendered five earned runs on five hits. He was only on the mound for four outs before being relieved. Chris Holba also gave up five earned runs in two innings toeing the rubber.

Like Kruczynski the day before, Evan Voliva impressed starting for Gold. He manned the mound for 3.2 shutout innings. Sam Lanier took over for another 1.1 innings in which Purple was held without a hit. Luke Bolka wrapped things up by pitching the final two frames. He conceded two hits and the aforementioned run scored by Ford.

Purple showed fight in Sunday’s series finale. Despite having dropped the first two games and having a minus-23 run differential, captain Parker Lamm helped bring more energy and enthusiasm to his team.

“I wasn’t really worried about winning or losing,” he said. “It’s a pride thing. We did get blown out the first two times. I told them to go out there and play as hard as they can and see what happens. I don’t think we played as hard as we could in the first two games.”

Purple broke through first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second.  Bryce Harman opened the scoring with a solo home run over the right-field fence. Gold responded by taking the lead with four runs in the next frame. Justin Dirden and Charlie Yorgen each had RBI singles.

Because of the weather, the two sides only went at it for six innings. Purple mounted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth. Lamm and Eric Tyler each notched singles and Harman got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Lamm cut Pruple’s deficit to one when he scored on Kirk Morgan’s sac fly. Zack Mozingo doubled to plate Harman to tie the game.

The game ended with the two teams knotted at four apiece. Both teams played a sound game, which pleased Godwin.

“We definitely played good defense,” Godwin said. “We played not-so-good defense on Friday. We played really good defense (Saturday and Sunday). It was a point of emphasis after Friday’s game. We made seven errors between both teams in an eight-inning game. (Saturday) we made one and (Sunday) we made none.”

Brooks named Brady Lloyd Gold’s most valuable player. He proved to be an offensive catalyst despite being positioned late in the batting order. He finished the series having scored five runs and batted another five in. He had a solid weekend on the defensive end of the game, too.

“He stood in there in the infield and blocked baseballs and kept them in,” Brooks said. “He made a couple of plays and swung it pretty well. He was a good pickup for us.”

ECU will continue to work through the winter as it prepares for its season opener on Feb. 19.