GREENVILLE, N.C. - Zach Woods struck out a career-high eight batters, while Kyle Roller, John Wooten and Zach Wright hit home runs to help No. 13 East Carolina (2-2) to an 11-2 win over former Colonial Athletic Association foe Old Dominion (3-1) Tuesday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Woods (1-0) scattered three hits over six innings allowing one run and walking one to pick up his first win since 2008. The right-hander from Virginia Beach, Va. retired 18 of 23 batters faced, including the last eleven before being lifted for Brad Mincey (2 Ks) who worked the seventh frame. Mike Wright made his second appearance out of the bullpen allowing one run while fanning two and closer Seth Simmons shut the door with a perfect ninth inning with a pair of punch outs.
Chris Boggs (0-1) was touched for four runs on seven hits in five innings for his first loss of the season. Phil McCarthy didn’t fare any better working 1/3 of an inning where he gave up five runs on six hits. Adam Wisniewski (1.0 IP, 2 H), Cory Toth (1.1 IP, 1 R) and Joe Haumacher (0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R) pitched the final 2.1 innings for the Monarchs.
ODU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Edgar Hernandez singled through the left side plating Joe Velleggia, who singled up the middle to start the inning.
ECU responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 3-1 lead and never looked back. Wooten stroked a Boggs 2-2 offering just inside the left field foul pole for his third home run in three games to knot the score at one. Jared Avchen followed with a double, Cam Freeman drew a walk and Corey Thompson scored Avchen on a single up the middle. Trent Whitehead’s single to right capped the scoring pushing across Freeman.
Devin Harris extended ECU’s lead to 4-1 on a double to left center that plated Roller from first after he was plunked on a 1-1 pitch.
Roller highlighted a five-run sixth inning with a three-run shot to left center putting the game out of reach at 9-1. For the Rockingham, N.C. native, it was his 40th career home run, which moved him into sole possession of fourth place on the school’s all-time home run charts. In the frame, seven different Pirates recorded a hit with Roller’s blast being the only extra base hit.
Nathan Hartman cranked his first homer of the season in the eighth to draw the score to 9-2 before the Pirates added a pair in the bottom of the inning on a Wright’s two-run shot to center put the score at 11-2.
The Pirates will continue their seven-game home stand this weekend when they welcome in No. 10 South Carolina for a three-game tilt starting Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. (EST).
•Four Pirate pitchers combined to strikeout 14 Monarchs (Woods-8, Mincey-2, Wright-2, Simmons-2).
•John Wooten smacked his third home run of the season (team-best) … It was his third-straight game with a round tripper … The last time a Pirate hit at least one home run in three consecutive games was Jamie Ray (4/29/08 to 5/3/08).
•Kyle Roller became the first Pirate in school history to reach the obscure 40-40 club (home runs and hit by pitches) … Roller was plunked twice in the game extending his current school record to 40 … In the sixth inning he smacked a three-run homer to left center, the 40th of his career which ranks fourth all-time at ECU … He moved in to sole possession of sixth place on the school’s all-time RBI charts (159) after driving in three on the day.
•Corey Thompson collected a career-high three hits and was one of five players with multiple hits.
•Dustin Harrington extended his hit streak to 12 games with his single in the sixth inning.
•All nine starters in the Pirates lineup recorded at least one hit.
•Zach Wright hit his fourth career home run with a two-run shot in the eighth.
•With his ninth inning relief appearance, Seth Simmons moved into sole possession of fifth place on the school’s all-time appearance charts (63).