GREENVILLE, N.C. - Senior Seth Maness was impressive in East Carolina's 2011 opener allowing one run over seven innings with seven strikeouts as the Pirates (1-0) cruised to an 11-3 win over Youngstown State (0-1) Friday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Maness, who picked up his 29th career win to move into a tie for third place all-time with Jim Peterson (1983-86), served up an inside fast ball to David Leon on an 0-1 count to start the game surrendering, but settled down to retire the next 11 batters. In all he allowed four hits while recording 18 first pitch strikes to set the tone of the game. Joseph Hughes worked the eighth inning giving up a run on two walks, while Mike Anderson closed out the ninth allowing a run on two hits.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second frame, ECU pushed across six runs on five hits to take a commanding 6-1 lead. After Zach Wright reached on an error to start the frame, a trio of true freshmen (Chase McDonald, Drew Reynolds and Jack Reinheimer) each recorded their first collegiate base knocks in consecutive at-bats. McDonald drove in the tying run with a double to left center, Reynolds moved him over with a single through the right side and Reinheimer followed with another single through the right side scoring McDonald.
Junior College transfer Tim Younger's sac bunt kept the frame going and moved the runners up 90 feet before Trent Whitehead cleared the bases with a two-RBI single through the right side. Whitehead promptly stole the second of his three bases on the afternoon and Austin Homan singled him home pushing the score to 5-1. With the bases juiced, McDonald drew a walk scoring Homan to close out the second inning.
Phil Klein suffered the Opening Day loss after surrendering eight runs (four earned) on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts in four innings of work. Blake Aquadro gave up three runs (all earned) on seven hits in four innings of relief.
ECU plated a pair of runs in the third and fifth innings and added a late run in the eighth to take an 11-2 lead before the Penguins scored in the top of the ninth to close the game at 11-3. Corey Thompson, who led the Pirates with three hits and three RBI, roped two-out double down the left field line scoring Whitehead and Homan.
After Aquadro spelled Klein in the fifth, Younger drew an opening frame walk and took third on Whitehead's double down the right field line. Philip Clark's pinch-hit single to right field scored Younger and Whitehead crossed home on Thompson's single through the left side.
Armani Johnson scored in the eighth frame on a Hughes wild pitch for the Penguins second run of the contest. Johnson led off with a single, took second on a wild pitch and third on a Leon groundout.
ECU got the run back in the bottom half of the frame when Reinheimer scored from first on Younger's double to left center. But Youngstown State answered when Neil Schroth scored on Leon's single to center.
•Head Coach Billy Godwin recorded his 457th career win, 194th Pirate win and evened his Opening Day record at ECU at 3-3 with the victory.
•Seth Maness made his third-straight start on Opening Day and improved to 2-1 ... He registered seven strikeouts and now has 261 for his career, two shy of moving into sole possession of sixth place all-time at ECU ... Improved to 29-8 all-time with the win.
•Three true freshmen recorded their first collegiate starts against Youngstown State: Chase McDonald (1-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 R), Drew Reynolds (2-for-5, 1 R) and Jack Reinheimer (1-for-4, RBI, 2 R) ... While two others in Ben Fultz (OF) and Joshua Lovick (C) made their debuts as defensive replacements in the ninth inning.
•Senior Trent Whitehead swiped three bases tying his career-high set last year against Tulane on April 3) ... He was 2-for-4 at the dish with two RBI and three runs scored ...
•Career Multi-Hit Games: Trent Whitehead (64), Corey Thompson (30), Drew Reynolds (1) and Tim Younger (1).
•Career Multi-RBI Games: Trent Whitehead (22), Corey Thompson (16) and Chase McDonald (1).