BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Seth Simmons tied a career-high with six strikeouts and Philip Clark laced a RBI double down the left field line in the ninth as East Carolina (8-3) topped Campbell (6-7), 3-2 Tuesday night at Taylor Field.
With the game knotted at two in the bottom of the seventh, Simmons (1-0) entered the contest with the bases loaded and no outs and retired all three batters he faced striking out the side. In all, the senior right-hander fanned six over three innings allowing a hit and one walk.
Clark pushed across the go-ahead run in the ninth with a one-out double that was just fair by six inches scoring Zach Wright from second base, which singled up the middle to start the frame and swiped his first base of the year to move into scoring position.
ECU starter Kevin Brandt allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits with three strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Joseph Hughes tossed two-thirds of an inning in relief giving up a hit before turning the game over to Zach Woods in the seventh, which faced two batters before being lifted for Simmons.
Ryan Koopman (2-2) suffered the loss working 1.1 innings allowing a runs on two hits with a pair of punch outs. Frank Zier, who made his first start of the season, tossed three scoreless innings allowing one hit with one walk and a pair of strikeouts before handing the ball over to Ryan Mattes, who surrendered two runs (both earned) on four hits in three innings. Colin Parker bridged the gap to Koopman limiting the Pirates to one hit in 1.2 innings.
Chase McDonald got the Pirates on the board with a RBI ground out scoring Corey Thompson, who doubled down the left field line to start the fourth inning. John Wooten moved him to third on a ground out to second setting up McDonald’s seventh RBI of the season.
Kyle Holmstrom tied the game at one in bottom of the fifth inning with a single through the left side. Ryne Briley was hit by a Brandt pitch then took third on Jimmy Breeneman’s double to right center. With no outs and runners on the corners, Brandt intentionally walked Ellis Lowe to load the bases to face Josh Holskey, who sent a dribbler back to Brandt inducing a 1-2-3 double play. Holskey was called out running to first for interference on the play, ending the frame.
Wooten broke a one-all tie in the sixth with a RBI seeing-eye single back up the middle that scored Tim Younger from second base for a 2-1 ECU lead. Younger singled to start the frame and Trent Whitehead followed putting runners on first and second with no outs. After Thompson flew out to right field, Wooten collected his second base hit of the game and drove in his seventh run on the season.
Campbell tied the game at two in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single from Erick Gaylord. Ala Denman singled to right field to start the inning and moved to third on an error by right fielder Chris Gosik. After a ground out back to the pitch advanced him to third, Denman crossed home on Gaylord’s well struck single to left.
On the night, Campbell had the bases loaded three times and was only able to score one run stranding 11 runners on base. The Pirate pitchers fanned 10 batters, issuing three walks and just one earned run.
The Pirates will be back in action Wednesday, March 9 when they play host to High Point inside Clark-LeClair Stadium at 6 p.m.