Pirates power to their second sweep
BY RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector
Sunday, March 10, 2019
East Carolina’s 14th-ranked baseball team completed a 4-1 week on Sunday with the final victory being the most convincing.
ECU was on the winning side of a high-scoring contest over Marist, beating the Red Foxes 10-5 to finish the Pirates’ second weekend sweep of the season. Saturday’s game was a 4-3 decision in 12 innings, and ECU’s five-game week also included a 3-2 victory at Ole Miss on Wednesday.
The Pirates (12-5) scored eight total runs during the first three innings on Sunday. They finished with a 14-10 advantage in hits over Marist (4-8).
“Last night was long, but we wanted to come with a ton of energy and get after it today,” said shortstop Turner Brown, who led the Pirates with a 3-for-5 outing that included a pair of triples. “We just kept adding on, and I can’t say enough about our offense. … The team that comes out with the most energy on Sunday normally has a better chance to win.”
The teams posted 17 combined hits during the first four frames. ECU took a 9-4 lead into the fifth thanks in large part to a four-run, two-out rally in the bottom of the third making it 8-4.
Brown was on third base after his first triple when a string of run-scoring hits began with Ryder Giles’ RBI single. Brady Lloyd’s single plated two more runs and Spencer Brickhouse hit a deep double for an 8-4 cushion.
“We played really good defense this weekend and we had a lot of tough at-bats,” ECU coach Cliff Godwin said. “Even last night when we didn’t have a ton to show for it, we hit balls hard. Today we needed to be offensive and I thought we were very offensive up and down the lineup.”
Leadoff man Bryant Packard finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Lloyd followed him in the batting order and also went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
The Pirates’ first reliever was Cam Colmore, whose 3.1-inning outing was highlighted by retiring seven straight batters from the start of the fourth into the sixth inning. He totaled four strikeouts and gave up one run on three hits.
Colmore (1-0, 2.45 ERA) threw 30 strikes in 39 pitches.
“I was just filling the zone and the offense gave us a big boost in the bottom of the third in putting a four-spot up,” he said. “That just made me feel comfortable and let me go out there and make pitches. It’s a lot easier when your offense puts up 10 runs.”
Giles moved from third base to the mound to fire the final two scoreless innings.
Both starting pitchers were making their first start of the season, and neither pitched past the third inning.
ECU’s Trey Benton went 2.2 innings, yielding four runs on five hits with two strikeouts, two walks and a hit batsman. The junior’s season ERA rose to 6.94 in seven appearances.
Red Foxes starter Trevor Backman lasted only one inning, allowing three runs on two hits.
Early offense included the Pirates scoring two runs each in the first two frames. Packard’s two-run home run to right field made it 4-2 ECU in the bottom of the second. It was his second homer of the year.
Marist then tied the game, 4-4, in the third on a sacrifice fly and RBI single.
Contact Ronnie Woodward at firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.