GREENVILLE, N.C. - Mike Wright had another solid outing striking out six with no walks and allowing six hits as East Carolina (11-3) tossed its fourth shutout of the young season topping Rutgers 5-0 Saturday afternoon in game four of the Eighth Annual Keith LeClair Classic.
Wright (3-0), who tied his career high with six punch outs, faced two over the minimum through the first four frames and no more than four in five of his seven innings of work. Sophomore Jake Harris made his seventh appearance of the year working a perfect eighth with two strikeouts, while senior Mike Anderson followed with a perfect ninth to secure ECU’s fifth-straight win.
Rob Smorol suffered the loss for the Scarlet Knights (5-7) allowing four runs (all earned) on five hits with five walks and three strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Ryan Fasano tossed 2.1 scoreless innings of relief before Jerry Elsing worked the final 1.1 innings allowing a run on two hits with a walk.
Jack Reinheimer gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead in the fourth on a two-RBI single that scored Zach Wright and Chris Gosik. Wright walked to start off the frame then swiped his second base of the season, moving into scoring position. Gosik followed with a single to right and landed on second with an errant throw from right fielder Michael Lang before Reinheimer delivered on a 2-0offering to left center.
ECU extended its lead to 4-0 in the fifth thanks to a Gosik fielder’s choice and a Chase McDonald sac fly. Corey Thompson, who is batting a team-best .400, reached on an infield single and moved over to third on John Wooten’s first double of the afternoon. After Wright walked on four-straight pitches to load the bases, Thompson crossed home on Gosik’s fielder’s choice to second. McDonald followed with a RBI sac fly to right field giving the Pirates a 4-0 advantage.
In the eighth frame, ECU added an insurance run, 5-0, when Wooten reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Reinheimer, who singled to right to start the stanza. Trent Whitehead singled through the right side for his only hit of the contest and Mike Ussery moved the Reinheimer to third and Whitehead to second on his sac bunt setting up the final run of the game.
The Pirates will close out the LeClair Classic on Sunday, March 13 when they face Liberty with a 2 p.m. (ET) first pitch scheduled.