WILMINGTON -- East Carolina's baseball team aimed for extra innings at UNC Wilmington on Wednesday night, but Matt Suggs and the Seahawks ended the game in bottom of the ninth inning.
Suggs sent a three-run home run over the left-field wall for a 5-2 UNCW win over the No. 24 Pirates. It was the first pitch he saw from Pirate reliever Ryder Giles.
Brooks Baldwin, who finished 3-for-4, led off the bottom of the ninth with a double. Giles, who got the save Tuesday in a win against Elon, throwing 15 pitches, then intentionally walked Trevor Marsh before Suggs' game-ending blast for the Seahawks (11-5).
"We had missed opportunities offensively and we should have been up at least a run, if not two runs, and we didn't execute some things, but I'm going to take the loss totally upon me because I asked too much of Ryder Giles," ECU coach Cliff Godwin said. "We should have put somebody else in the game. The guy had a save last night. ... I just asked too much of a kid who was pouring his heart and soul in there. I'll take the loss on me tonight."
The defeat stopped a six-game win streak for ECU (13-4).
Giles retired all three batters he faced in the bottom of the eighth after relieving Nick Logusch. Giles, who is the Pirates' starting shortstop, threw 21 pitches.
"I think, yeah, a little bit (of expecting Suggs to bunt), but it just goes back to not executing the pitch," Giles said. "It is what happens when you leave one out over the plate, especially to a good hitter like that."
The game featured two ties and two home runs by the hosts.
C.J. Mayhue got the Pirates out of a jam in the bottom of the second inning and later yielded his first earned run of the season, giving him a 0.56 ERA, when Kip Brandenburg hit a solo homer for a 1-1 tie in the fourth.
UNCW created another tie, 2-2, in the sixth when Baldwin guided an RBI triple into the right field corner. Jac Croom began the Seahawk sixth by drawing a walk off Matt Bridges, who pitched 1.2 innings after Mayhue went three innings in relief.
Ben Newton was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for the Pirates to lead 1-0 in the fourth. They went up 2-1 the next inning when Lane Hoover hit a leadoff triple and scored on Zach Agnos' sacrifice fly. Hoover finished 2-for-5.
ECU left the bases loaded in the top of the second inning and UNCW stranded two runners in the bottom half. Each team finished with nine baserunners stranded, and the Pirates had a runner thrown out at home plate during the top of the seventh.
"Tip your hat to UNCW, and we'll go home and practice tomorrow and we'll get ready for whoever we play this weekend," said Godwin, whose club is searching for a new weekend opponent because Columbia cancelled the rest of its season.