GREENVILLE, N.C. – Chris Carrier’s three-run homer and two defensive web gems helped Memphis to a 7-3 American Athletic Conference win over East Carolina Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
With the win the Tigers even the weekend series and improve to 27-24 overall and 7-13 in league play, while the Pirates fell to 26-25 and 5-15.
Colton Hathcock (3-3) tossed a season-high seven shutout innings giving up six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in the win. Connor Alexander was touched for three runs (all earned) on three hits in two-thirds of an inning, while Hunter Smith worked one-third of a frame. Blake Bennett closed out the game tossing a perfect ninth inning with three punch outs.
Trey Benton (3-4) was touched for six runs (four earned) on three hits with a pair of walks and one strikeout in three-plus innings of work in the loss. The Pirates used four pitchers out of the bullpen getting outings from Jacob Wolfe (1.0 IP, 1 R), Ryan Ross (1.0 IP, 3 H), Tyler Smith (3.0 IP, 3 Ks) and Matt Bridges (1.0 IP, 3 Ks).
Tyler Webb led four Tigers with multiple hits going 3-for-4 and scored a pair of runs. Colton Neel, Jason Santana and Trent Turner each added two hits, while Carrier plated three runs and Turner drove in a pair.
Spencer Brickhouse, Turner Brown and Travis Watkins each collected to base hits for the Pirates. Bryce Harman, Andrew Henrickson and Brady Lloyd all drove in a run and Eric Tyler extended his on-base streak to a personal and AAC-best 37 games with his double in the first inning.
How It Happened:
Memphis struck first scoring five runs on two hits and two ECU errors to take a 5-0 lead in the third inning. Jason Santana was hit by a pitch then took third on Colton Neel’s sac bunt that was coupled with a throwing error by Watkins, who was trying throw Santana out at second. Zach Schritenthal reached on a fielder’s choice sac bunt that plated Santana. Tyler Webb followed with a sac bunt that pushed across Neel before Carrier cleared the bases with a three-run homer to left field, his 12th of the season.
Turner’s two-RBI single extended the Tigers lead to 7-0 in the fourth inning. Santana walked to start the frame and took second on Neel’s sac bunt before moving to third on Schritenthal’s ground out to first. Webb followed with a walk and Carrier was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Turner, who singled to left plating two runs.
ECU finally got on the board in the eighth scoring three runs and cutting the lead to four, 7-3. Harman drove in the first run with a sac fly to left field plating Watkins. Henrickson followed with an RBI triple (first of the season) scoring Brickhouse and Lloyd’s pinch-hit RBI easily scored Henrickson from third.
ECU and Memphis will close out the weekend series on Sunday, May 14 with a 12 noon (ET) scheduled first pitch.