GREENVILLE, N.C. - Doug Kroll's two-out 2-RBI double down the third base line in the eighth inning lifted No. 11 Oklahoma State to a 7-6 win over No. 23 East Carolina in game three of the Sixth Annual Keith LeClair Classic Friday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win, OSU improves to 6-1, while ECU drops to 5-1.
Trailing 6-4 in the eighth, OSU's Eric Walker homered to right field to lead off the frame pulling the Cowboys to within one, 6-5. Dusty Harvard followed Walker's at-bat with a single off Patrick Somers, who replaced ECU starter Seth Maness after Walker's homer. Tom Belza moved Harvard to second on a sac bunt the Neil Medchill followed with an intentional walk putting runners at first and second. After another ECU pitching change that brought Bailey Daniels to the mound, both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch, setting up Kroll's at-bat.
Andrew Oliver improved to 2-0 on the season after allowing six runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts and four walks. Randy McCurry picked up his third save of the season closing out the final two frames where he allowed two hits, fanned two and walked one.
Somers, who made his collegiate debut in the seventh, suffered the loss after lasting two-thirds of an inning where he gave up two runs on one hit. Maness went seven innings in consecutive starts giving up five runs (all earned) on six hits with eight strikeouts. Daniels worked the final 1 1/3 innings.
OSU jumped out on ECU early in the first when Medchill smacked the first of two home runs on the afternoon for a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Kevin David drew a walk then came around to score on Medchill's shot to right field.
Ryan Wood tied the game at two with his first home run of the season and 22nd of his career in the third frame. Trent Whitehead led off with a double to right field then touched home on Wood's blast to right-center.
The Cowboys plated two more runs in the fourth, taking a 4-2 lead behind Medchill's second bomb of the game. Medchill blasted a one-out first pitch offering from Maness to right field putting OSU up 3-2. Kroll scored the second run of the inning when ECU catcher Zach Wright dropped a perfectly thrown ball from left-fielder Stephen Batts to the plate on Tyrone Hambly's single.
Brandon Henderson's three-run home run highlighted a four-run seventh inning that gave ECU a 6-4 lead. Jonathan Ratledge got the inning going with a pinch-hit single to center. After Wright drew a free pass off of Oliver to put runners on first and second, Wood accepted a one-out free pass of his own to load the bases for Batts, who reached on a fielder's choice scoring Ratledge. Henderson cranked his second home run of the season and 23rd of his career, a three-run shot to right-center, putting the Pirates on top.
The Pirates are scheduled to play College of Charleston Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the final game of the LeClair Classic. Pirate fans should stay tuned for potential schedule changes due to inclement weather in the area this weekend.
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