WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Pirates best defending champion Virginia
Published 2:34 pm Monday, February 29, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Over the weekend, the East Carolina baseball team broke into Baseball America’s top-25 rankings while taking two of three games from No. 8 and defending national champion Virginia.
The Cavaliers won a close contest Sunday, 4-2, to avoid a series sweep at the hands of ECU (6-1). The Pirates committed five errors in the contest while ECU starter Jimmy Boyd was charged with all four runs (three earned) in a seven-inning outing.
Virginia tagged Boyd for two runs in the first while ECU committed two fielding errors. Freshmen Turner Brown and outfielder Dwanya Williams-Sutton were both charged with the errors. Williams-Sutton’s came off the bat of Daniel Pinero as Matt Thaiss scored on the play.
ECU struggled to come back from the sloppy start and scored its two runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Freshman Chris Holba relieved Boyd in the eighth and retired his side in order.
The Pirates won Saturday to move to 5-0 on the season. Junior Jacob Wolfe turned in a phenomenal outing on the mound while Luke Bolka hit a three run home run in the second inning to jump-start the ECU offense.
Wolfe threw six innings and allowed just four hits and one unearned run. Wolfe earned his second win on the season and Nick Durazo earned the save in relief. He threw three innings and allowed two hits to shutdown the Virginia offense.
Bolka notched a four RBI game, the first four runs for ECU, and delivered Williams-Sutton in the fourth inning. ECU scored its last two runs in the sixth as Williams-Sutton again accounted for a run as he scored Eric Tyler on a triple. Wesley Phillips drove in Williams-Sutton later in the inning with an RBI sac fly. Durazo nailed down the win and clinched the series for the Pirates.
ECU got things started early in the series against Virginia as Williams-Sutton drove in two runs in the first inning on a single with the bases loaded. However, the Cavaliers responded immediately in the bottom half of the frame against Evan Kruczynski.
Kruczynski was charged with four runs over four innings of work as Virginia scored two in the first inning and two in the second. The Pirates worked from behind after Davis Kirkpatrick relieved Kruczynski for four innings. Trailing 5-4 in the ninth, Charlie Yorgen drove in Phillips on a sacrifice fly with two in scoring position. The run moved the game to extra innings after Joe Ingle retired Virginia in bottom half.
ECU exploded in the 10th and logged three runs off reliever Alec Bettinger. Freshman Brady Lloyd got ECU on the board in extra innings with an RBI double that delivered Harman. Williams-Sutton scored on Phillips’s groundout and Lloyd came in on the Cavaliers’ lone wild pitch of the day.
Ingle struck out two in the bottom of the 10th and earned the win to put ECU out in front in the series.
The newly ranked Pirates will take on in-state opponent Elon Wednesday before the start of the Keith LeClair Classic on Friday. Southeast Louisiana, Tennessee and Maryland will make the trip to Greenville for the 13th annual invitational.