GREENVILLE, N.C. – Ninth-ranked East Carolina scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning extending its win streak to seven-straight games with a 7-4 victory over No. 16 St. John’s Saturday afternoon on day two of the 14th Annual Keith LeClair Classic at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 7-3 on the season, while the Red Storm drop their first game of the year falling to 9-1.
Sam Lanier (1-1) picked up the win allowing one run (earned) on two hits with a pair of strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Starter Jacob Wolfe surrendered a pair of runs (one earned) on seven hits with a walk and strikeout in four innings. Tyler Smith (1.1 IP, 1 R, 2 Ks) and Matt Bridges (1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 Ks) each worked out of the bullpen.
Joe LaSorsa (1-1) suffered the loss allowing one runs (earned) on one hit in one-third of an inning in relief. Starter Matt LoPresti was touched for three runs (all earned) on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 4.2 frames in the no-decision. Joe Kelly (2.1 IP, 3 Ks), Aaron Herr (0.1 IP, 1 R), Turner French (0.0 IP, 2 Rs) and David Moyer (0.1 IP, 1 K) also pitched in relief.
Turner Brown and Travis Watkins each had a pair of hits for the Pirates, while Brown drove in a pair of runs in the eighth frame. Charlie Yorgen reached base four times in the contest with a hit, two walks and was hit by a pitch. In all, the Pirates collected eight base knocks, drew six walks and reached base three times via a hit batter.
St. John’s pounded out 11 hits on the day getting three each from Josh Shaw and John Valente, while Jamie Galazin had two hits. Michael Donadio, Shaw and Valente each drove in a run, while Jesse Berardi scored two of the Red Storm’s four runs.
How It Happened:
With the scored tied at three-all heading to the bottom of the eighth, ECU scored four runs on four hits taking a 7-3 lead. Watkins singled through the left side before Kirk Morgan laced a single through the right side putting runners on the corners with one out. After Dusty Baker entered the game as a pinch runner for Morgan, he stole second and two batters later both Watkins and Baker moved up 90 feet with Watkins giving ECU a 4-3 advantage.
The inning continued when Brady Lloyd (pinch hitter) and Yorgen drew consecutive walks to load the bases for Brown, who slapped a double to left field scoring Baker and Lloyd. Eric Tyler’s bunt single down the left field line plated Yorgen giving the Pirates a 7-3 lead.
St. John’s scored a run in the top of the ninth when Donadio reached on a fielder’s choice allowing Anthony Brocato to score, pulling the Johnnies within three, 7-4.
The Pirates jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the first inning thanks to Luke Bolka’s RBI single. Yorgen led off the game with a bunt single and took second on Brown’s walk. After Tyler grounded into a double play, where Yorgen moved to third base, Bolka lifted an 0-1 offering from LoPresti to right center plating Yorgen for the game’s first run.
St. John’s knotted the game at one-all in the top of the third inning using a pair of singles, a hit batter and passed ball. With runners on first and third and two outs, Shaw singled up the middle scoring Berardi drawing the Red Storm even in the contest.
The Red Storm took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on when Berardi scored on a Smith Balk. But the Pirates responded with a pair in the home half of the fifth when Spencer Brickhouse was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded pushing across Brown and a wild pitch by Kelly that scored Eric Tyler giving ECU a 3-2 lead.
However, St. John’s tied the game at three when Valente doubled to right-center scoring Robert Boselli.
ECU will close out the LeClair Classic Sunday, Mar. 5 when it plays host to Appalachian State at 3:30 p.m. (ET).