BASE: Pirates complete series sweep of niners
Posted March 22
Updated March 25
East Carolina completed a Conference USA series sweep at Charlotte taking both games of the Saturday afternoon double header 8-5 and 5-2 at Hayes Stadium. With the wins the Pirates improve to 13-11 overall and 6-3 in league play, while the Niners drop to 3-16-1 and 0-9.
Ben Fultz continued his hot hitting in the second game of the doubleheader staking ECU to a 3-0 lead in the first with a two-run triple down the right field line. Zach Houchins, who singled up the middle with two outs, scored on Bryce Harman’s infield single that was coupled with an errant throw by Mikal Hill at short trying to get the force at third. Fultz stepped to the plate with runners on first and third drilling a Brock Hudgens pitch down the line for his second triple of the season.
David Lucroy (1-3) picked up his first win allowing two runners to reach on the day in seven full innings on the mound with five strikeouts. The right-hander surrendered base hit in the fourth and issued a walk in the fifth, but sat down the Niners in order six times. Jacob Wolfe gave up a pair of runs (one earned) on three hits with a strikeout before Ryan Williams came in to record the save, his second of the season.
Hudgens dropped to 0-3 on the year allowing five runs (all earned) on six hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts. Jordan Hudson worked a perfect ninth in relief.
Back-to-back RBI doubles by Fultz and Eric Tyler pushed ECU’s lead to five, 5-0, in the third frame. Ian Townsend walked with one out and raced around the bases on Fultz’ two-base hit to right field. Tyler followed with a double down the left field line plating Fultz easily.
Charlotte broke through with a pair of runs in the eighth when Des Roberts scored on a passed ball just before Brad Elwood’s RBI single through the right side plated Hill.
The Pirates will be back in action next Tuesday, Mar. 25 when it plays host to instate rival UNC Wilmington with a 6 p.m. (ET) first pitch scheduled.
Game One Recap
Ben Fultz drove in a season-high four runs helping East Carolina erase a five-run deficit as the Pirates claimed the C-USA series over Charlotte with an 8-5 win in game-one of the doubleheader Saturday afternoon.
Fultz’, who was 3-for-4 in the contest, knotted the game at five-all in the fifth inning with a bases clearing double. Two innings later he drove in the game-winning run with a two-out single back up the middle that scored Ian Townsend for a 6-5 lead.
Brett Mabry (2-0) picked up the win tossing 3.1 scoreless innings of relief scattering three hits. Starter Reid Love, who rolled through the Niners lineup the first go around, was touched for five runs (all earned) on seven hits – all of them coming in the fourth frame before being lifted for Mabry. Drew Reynolds notched his fourth save of the season working 2.2 scoreless frames with a strikeout.
Ryan Butler (1-3) took the loss allowing six runs (one earned) on 10 hits with a walk and five strikeouts in seven innings of work. Charlotte used four pitchers out of the bullpen that combined to give up two runs (both earned) on three hits in the final two frames.
Charlotte jumped on ECU starter Reid Love in the fourth inning recording six-straight hits that led to five runs. T.J. Nitching’s RBI double scored Derek Gallello for the first run putting runners on second and third. Logan Sherer followed with a two-RBI double, then Des Roberts put runners on the corners for Corbin Shive, who singled home Sherer with a shot to left field. After Love was lifted for Mabry, Mikal Hill lifted a fly ball to center easily scoring Roberts to cap the inning.
The Pirates tied the game at five-all in the top of the fifth using six hits and one error. Hunter Allen scored the first run on a sac fly by Townsend before Bryce Harman loaded the bases with an infield single. Fultz cleared the bases with a double down the left field line plating Reynolds, Zach Houchins and Harman. Luke Lowery’s RBI single down the left field line scored the game-tying run pushing across Fultz.
Reynolds helped his own cause with a two-out single back up the middle scoring Charlie Yorgen for a 7-5 advantage in the eighth. Yorgen led off the frame after being hit by a pitch and moved to second on Allen’s sac bunt back to the Bond before racing home on Reynolds lone hit of the game.
ECU’s final run came on a bases loaded single by Eric Tyler up the middle that scored Townsend for an 8-5 lead. The Pirates tallied 13 hits in the contest with Fultz posting a three-hit day, while Harman, Houchins and Lowery each added two.