GREENVILLE, N.C. – Freshman Davis Kirkpatrick struck out a career-high 10, while Drew Reynolds led a trio of Pirates with multiple hits including a three-run homer as East Carolina topped High Point 7-4 Tuesday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Dylan Brown’s RBI sacrifice bunt gave ECU (30-23) and early 1-0 lead in the first and the Pirates never looked back. Charlie Yorgen reached on a bunt single, Reynolds moved him over on another bunt Zach Houchins singled up the middle putting runners on the corners. Brown laid down a bunt back to High Point (28-20) pitcher Jon Carlson that plated Yorgen with ease.
Kirkpatrick (2-1) picked up the win tossing 5.1 innings where he allowed three run on three hits with four walk to go with his career-best 10 punch-outs. The right-hander got into trouble early in the contest, where he walked three of the first four batters he faced. With the bases loaded, Kirkpatrick got Alex Gross and Brenden Rivera swinging to get out of the jam. He would go on to strikeout eight more Panthers including multiple batters in the second, third and fifth frames, before handing the ball off to Evan Kruzynski. The fellow freshman plunked Dane McDermott which moved Chris Clare to second, and after a wild pitch moved both runners over, Ryan Williams entered the contest.
Williams promptly struck out both batter he faced (Brady Williamson and Josh Green) to end the Panthers threat. The senior righty tossed 2.2 scoreless frames in relief allowing a pair of hits and striking out four getting the Pirates to the ninth frame. From there Jacob Wolfe (0.1 IP) and Reynolds (0.2 IP, run) closed out the contest.
Carlson (1-2) took the loss giving up four runs (all earned) on nine hits with four strikeouts in five innings. High Point would use four more hurlers over the final three frames, which combined to allow three runs (all earned) on one hit, three walks and hit batter.
Houchins padded the Pirates lead in the second, 2-0, with an RBI double to right center that scored Hunter Allen – one of this two runs on the night. Allen led off with a single to right center, took second on Reynolds base hit to left and strolled home on Houchins’ team-leading 26th multi-hit game of the season.
Allen’s RBI ground out and Yorgen’s RBI single gave ECU a 4-0 lead in the fourth frame. Ian Townsend singled on a hard grounder past the first baseman to start the stanza and Bryce Harman followed with a single to left. After Garrett Brooks dropped down a sac bunt that moved the runners up 90 feet, Allen ground out to second plating Townsend. Yorgen followed with his second base knock of the contest, this time a shot to right center pushing across Harman.
High Point pulled within one at 4-3 over the next two frames on a sac fly RBI to center by Spencer Angelis in the fifth and a two-run homer by Kyle Brandenburg in the seventh.
Reynolds and the Pirates answered with three runs in the sixth making it a four-run game, 7-3. Harman walked and Brooks was hit by a pitch to get the frame going. Allen reached on a fielder’s choice bunt where Harman was thrown out at third, and Yorgen grounded out to second pushing the runners up the base paths. Reynolds stepped to the plate and belted a 2-0 offering from Peter Ripke of the right field wall clearing the bases for his second homer of the year.
Angelis pulled High Point within three, 7-4, on a solo shot off of Reynolds in the ninth to cap the scoring.
The Pirates recorded their 23rd double-digit hit game of the season with 10 on the night. Houchins, Reynolds and Yorgen posted a pair of hits, while Allen, Brown, Harman and Townsend each added one.
ECU will close out the 2014 regular season this weekend when they welcome in UTSA for a three-game Conference USA series. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, May 15.