Greenville, N.C. - Junior Dustin Harrington had a career day going 6-for-6 at the plate with two home runs, six RBI and scored five runs as No. 16 East Carolina claimed the rubber match game over Monmouth 16-2 Sunday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
ECU’s (11-8) offensive unit and pitching staff shined on an overcast day pounding out a season-best 19 hits, while holding Monmouth (3-6) to just five base knocks.
The story early in the game was sophomore right-hander Mike Wright (1-1), who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up a leadoff single to Mike Casale. The 6’-5” reliever made his first start of the season and faced one over the minimum through five frames with Kyle O’Neill reaching on an error in the third. Wright would go on to fan a career-best eight hitters in 5.1 innings, where he allowed two runs on three hits.
ECU got shutout performances from hurlers Jake Harris (0.2 IP), Joseph Hughes (1.0 IP), Zach Woods (0.2 IP), Patrick Somers (0.1 IP) and Seth Simmons (1.0) to secure the Pirates’ 11th victory of the season.
Pat Light (0-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up eight runs on 10 hits in 2.2 innings. The rest of the Hawks pitching staff didn’t fare any better as they allowed eight runs over the next 5.1 frames on nine hits.
The Pirates took an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the opening stanza thanks to a two-run shot by Kyle Roller to right center, the 45th home run of his career. Zach Wright pushed across the game-winning run on a double to right field that scored Corey Thompson, who tripled to left center just moments before Wright stepped to the plate.
ECU added a pair of runs in the second to extend its lead to 5-0. Harrington drove in his first run with a single up the middle that scored Austin Homan before coming around to score himself on Thompson’s infield single to third.
The offensive attack continued in the third when Cam Freeman scored on Trent Whitehead’s single that was bobbled by the right fielder O’Neill. Harrington followed Whitehead with the first of two home runs on the day, a two-run shot over the batter’s eye in center putting ECU up 8-0.
ECU added six runs in the fourth, which was highlighted by a pair of three-run homers coming off the bats of Devin Harris and Harrington for a 14-0 advantage.
Monmouth finally got on the board in the sixth pushing across a pair of runs on three hits, 14-2. Casale singled through the right side and Josh Boyd reached with a one-out single to right before Matt McEndy cleared the bases with single to right center.
Philip Clark’s pinch hit single to left center scored Harrington for the Pirates 15th run of the contest and Clark came around to score the final run of the game on Jared Avchen’s pinch hit double to left that was over ran by McEndy.
ECU will continue its 13-game home stand when they play host to High Point on Tuesday, Mar. 23 with a first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. (EDT).
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.