WILMINGTON, N.C. - East Carolina’s offense came alive Tuesday night as they pounded out a season-high 20 hits and cruised to a 20-5 win over in-state rival UNC Wilmington at Brooks Field. With the win the Pirates improve to 19-5, while the Seahawks drop to 14-11.
Zach Woods (1-2) picked up his first win of the season working five strong innings where he struck out nine and allowed two runs (both earned) on four hits. Mike Anderson made is fourth appearance of the season out of the bullpen working two innings where he gave up three runs (all earned) on four this with four strikeouts. Freshman Tanner Merritt made his second appearance of the year working 1.2 innings of scoreless relief, while Lance Honeycutt recorded the final out on one pitch in the ninth getting a ground out to second to end the contest.
The Seahawks used 10 pitchers on the night and Ryan Leach (0-2) lasted just one inning in his sixth start of the season allowing four runs on four hits in the loss. Jack Lane came on to spell Leach and allowed six runs (two earned) on two hits in two-thirds of an inning and then it became a mess in the box score. Eight more hurlers saw action on the mound with five being touched for multiple runs.
Trent Whitehead paced a four-run first inning as ECU jumped out early 4-0 lead on the Seahawks. The senior leadoff hitter smacked his first homer of the season, 15th of his career, sending a shot to right center. John Wooten stroked a one-out triple to left field and Ben Fultz walked to put runners on the corners for Jack Reinheimer, who singled through the left side scoring Wooten. Chris Gosik used a bases clearing double to left center capping the scoring at four.
Woods retired UNCW in order in the bottom of the first and the Pirates got back after it in the second plating six more runs for a 10-0 lead. Wooten reached on a bunt fielder’s choice that scored Whitehead and Fultz singled to back to the pitcher scoring Thompson. Reinheimer followed on a RBI fielder’s choice and freshman Jonathan Holt doubled to right center pushing across Reinheimer and Gosik.
The Pirates would score three runs in the third and two in the fourth building a comfortable 15-2 lead before the Seahawk pitchers finally cooled off ECU’s bats from the fifth to the seventh. But ECU would get four more in the eighth and one in the ninth to finish with 20 runs, the most since April 10th of last year when they put up 20 runs 22 hits against Memphis.
UNCW scored a run in the second after Matt Campbell led off with a triple and then swiped home on a double steal. Pinch hitter Dakota Piver homered in the fourth off of Woods to draw the score to 15-2. The Seahawks scored three runs in the seventh to cap their scoring at five.
In all 13 Pirates recorded at least one hit with Reinheimer leading the way going 3-for-6 with a career-best three RBI and three runs scored. Joining Reinheimer with multiple hits were Whitehead (2-for-4), Philip Clark (2-for-2), Thompson (2-for-3), Wooten (2-for-6) and Fultz (2-for-4). Every starter for ECU scored at least one run and all but Younger drove in a run on the night.
Head Coach Billy Godwin recorded his 212th victory tying him with ECU Hall of Famer and former Pirate skipper Keith LeClair for second place on the all-time wins list.
Following ECU’s 20-5 victory over UNCW, Godwin announced that junior left-handed pitchers at Patrick Somers and Kevin Brandt have been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.
“I set high standards of conduct for being a member of our baseball program,” said Godwin. “I am really proud of the many young men on our team that adhere to these standards. It is really important for me that we work with young men to achieve excellence in all areas of their lives on and off the field. I fully expect Kevin and Pat to return to our program soon as better young men.”
ECU will be back on the diamond on Wednesday when they play host to Elon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EST).