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Henrickson’s sac-fly sends ECU into weekend with win

GREENVILLE — East Carolina rallied behind pinch hitter Andrew Henrickson’s walk-off sacrifice fly to come back and defeat Elon, 2-1, in its second midweek game this week on Wednesday.

ECU had only three hits until designated hitter Jake Washer led off the top of the ninth with a double. Dwanya Williams-Sutton, running for Washer, came in to score on Henrickson’s sac-fly to improve ECU to 13-4.

Elon’s Jared Wetherbee, who was the third pitcher for the Phoenix of the game, gave up the unearned run after Henrickson’s hit. Robbie Welhaf, who pitched 2 2/3 innings before Wetherbee, was tagged for the run after he allowed Williams-Sutton to steal second base earlier in the inning.

“I was just thankful that Dwanya was on third base, have a little speed over there,” Henrickson said. “I didn’t get it out there that far, but I’ll take it. Luckily our pitchers were able to keep us in there.”

It took the Pirates until the sixth inning to get the tying run on the board.

Elon opened up the first inning with their only run of the game. Catcher Matt Oldham sent his first pitch for a double. Shortstop Ryne Ogren sent him home in the very next at-bat after hitting an RBI single up the middle and advancing to second base on a wild throw.

The remaining three batters in the inning failed to pick up a hit and only one got on base thanks to a walk by starting pitcher Jake Kuchmaner. He only lasted 1 2/3 innings before he was pulled for Matt Bridges. West Covington and Sam Lanier each pitched a frame.

“We’re not at full strength offensively with Turner out, Dwanya out, and Packard out. It’s tough to score with anybody in the lineup, especially in (these) conditions the past two days, with the wind blowing in and it not being very warm out,” head coach Cliff Godwin said. “The bullpen was unbelievable today.”

Davis Kirkpatrick earned the win for ECU after his team-high three innings. He surrendered two hits, zero earned runs and zero walks.

“The weather is always a factor, you control what you can control, but definitely on a cold day you want to attack the zone (and) definitely fill it up. I just tried to attack the zone. That’s what coach Roszel always preaches to us,” Kirkpatrick said.

ECU’s only other run of the game came in the sixth inning. Third baseman Connor Litton led off the inning with a single and eventually headed to second base after a passed ball. After first baseman Spencer Brickhouse flew out to left field, Litton was able to advance on a deeper fly out to center courtesy of Washer. Second baseman Brady Lloyd picked up the full-count RBI single to tie the game.

The Pirates are now back in the win column after losing to VCU on Tuesday. They’ll welcome the Maryland Terrapins, led by first-year head coach Rob Vaughn, this weekend.

Maryland has picked up at least two wins in three of its four season series this year. The Terps won their set with Tennessee before sweeping the competition in the Coastal Carolina Tournament.