Pitching propels ECU past No. 6 UNC 2-1

By  | 

GREENVILLE, N.C. – The sophomore tandem of Trey Benton and Tyler Smith allowed just two hits and combined to strike out 13 batters as ECU picked up a 2-1 win over No. 6 North Carolina Friday at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium in front of 5,382 fans. With the win the Pirates improve to 5-0 on the season, while the Tar Heels drop to 2-4.

How It Happened:

The Pirates struck for a pair of runs in the second inning taking an early 2-0 lead. Jake Washer led off the second with a single to right center and took third on Chandler Jenkins double to left field to start the frame. Connor Litton’s RBI ground out to second pushed across Washer and Andrew Henrickson followed with an RBI single to right plating Jenkins. The Tar Heels responded with one in the top of the third on Ike Freeman’s sac fly pulling within one, 2-1. Dylan Enwiller reached first after being hit by a pitch and took third on a failed pickoff by Benton to first base. Brandon Martorano followed with a single to right before Freeman’s fly ball to left allowed Enwiller to cross home.

Coach Godwin’s Take:

“Trey Benton was awesome with 11 punch outs in six innings and then Tyler Smith coming out there and just filling up the strike zone getting ground ball after ground ball. Two great pitching performances by our guys, which we needed because their pitchers were very good as well. Neither pitching staff gave you a lot of free opportunities, so tough hitting conditions tonight against quality pitching on both sides. We felt Tyler was a good match-up against their two, three and four hitters because they are kind of fastball guys, so that’s why we left him in there at the end.”

Pirate Pitchers:

Benton (2-0) got the win after allowing one run (unearned) on two hits and fanned a career-best 11 batters for his first quality start of the season. Smith picked up his first career save tossing three no-hit frames surrendering a walk and punching out two.

Tar Heels Staff:

Luca Dalatri (0-2) suffered the loss giving up a pair of runs (both earned) on 11 hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Brett Daniels finished the game punching out five, allowing one hit in 2.2 scoreless frames.

ECU’s Bats:

The Pirates pounded out a season-high 12 hits getting two each from Spencer Brickhouse, Andrew Henrickson, Chandler Jenkins and Connor Litton. Henrickson and Litton each drove in a run, while Jenkins and Washer accounted for the runs. In all, eight of ECU’s starting nine registered a hit in the game.

Player of the Game:

Benton retired the side in order four times including striking out three-straight in the second frame … The right-hander punched out at least one Tar Heel in all six frames getting multiple strikeouts in the second (three), fourth (two), fifth (two) and sixth (two) … He had nine swing and misses and two looking strikeouts to go along with three fly ball and four ground outs.

Things of Note:

Attendance of 5,382 is the third-largest in Clark-LeClair Stadium history …
ECU had its first official review in the bottom of the first inning when Bryant Packard single to center …
Brickhouse extended his games of reaching base safely to 21-straight with a two-out walk in the third inning …
Chandler Jenkins had a career-best two hits …
Henrickson tied his career-high with two base knocks and his RBI single in the second was his first career game-winning RBI …
ECU pounded out double-digit hits for the third time this season and improved to 3-0 when recording 10 or more hits in a game in 2018 …
The Pirates snapped a three-game skid against the Tar Heels with the win …
ECU swiped a pair of bases pushing its season total to 12 …

Up Next:
ECU and No. 6 UCN will continue the three-game series Saturday, Feb. 24 in Durham at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park with a 6 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.