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Pirates Hold Off Panthers 7-5

GREENVILLE, N.C. - Kyle Roller's two-RBI double down the right field line in the eighth inning proved to be the game-winning hit as No. 25 East Carolina topped in-state foe High Point 7-5 Tuesday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.

Leading 5-4 in the eighth frame, Trent Whitehead drew a one-out walk then advanced to second on a wild pitch before Dustin Harrington recorded his fourth hit of the contest to put runners at first and second for Roller, who scorched a 2-0 offering from Jamie Schultz down the line that was fair by inches scoring both runners putting ECU (12-8) up 7-4.

High Point's rally fell short in the ninth despite pushing across a run on Robbie Gillies pinch hit double to left that scored Matt Gantner from second pulling the Panthers (13-7) within two, 7-5. Seth Simmons, who entered the game with one out in the seventh inning, got Andrew Bartlett to fly out to Whitehead in center preserving the win and recording his sixth save of the season and 17th of his career.

Freshman Jake Harris (1-0 picked up his first collegiate win working a career-best 2.2 shutout innings allowing four hits and striking out a personal-best four hitters. Starter Joseph Hughes gave up four runs on six hits in four innings with a pair of walks and strikeouts on the night. Simmons allowed one run on two hits with two strikeouts in 2.1 frames, his longest outing of the season.

Mike Caldwell (0-2) suffered the loss after pitching 5.1 innings where he allowed five runs (all earned) on six hits with four walks. Schultz kept the Pirates in check until the eighth finishing the final 2.2 innings allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Dustin Harrington continued his hot hitting in the first inning putting the Pirates up 1-0 on his fourth home run of the season, a shot to right field, and finished the game 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored.

High Point tied the game at one in the third on Murray White, IV's RBI single up the middle that scored Andrew Bartlett from second. Bartlett walked to open the frame then moved into scoring position on Pablo Rosario's sac bunt.

In the bottom half of the third ECU pushed across a pair of runs to take a 3-1 lead. Harrington singled through the left side, took second on Roller's walk and moved to third on John Wooten's sac bunt before crossing home on a wild pitch. Roller scored the second run of the stanza on Corey Thompson's sac fly to center capping the scoring.

A walk and three consecutive singles through the right side helped the Panthers take their first lead at 4-3 in the top of the fifth. Bartlett drew an opening frame walk then took second on Rosario's single, landed on third on White's second hit of the game and came home on Roberts' base knock for the first run. Rosario scored on a wild pitch strikeout and Gantner gave High Point the lead on a sac fly to left that plated White.

Thompson knotted the game at four in the bottom of the fifth with a RBI double to left center that scored Roller from second base. Roller reached on a one-out infield single and advanced to second on Wooten's ground out to third before touching home for the second time in the game.

Philip Clark put the Pirates ahead for good in the sixth, 5-4, when he blasted his first collegiate home run down the right field line on a 2-2 offering from Schultz.

ECU will be back in action Wednesday night when they play host to N.C. A&T with a first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. (EDT).


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