WILMINGTON, N.C. -Freshman Jake Harris allowed one run over 3 2/3 innings of relief to pick up his second win of the year as East Carolina snapped its five-game losing streak Tuesday night beating in-state rival UNC-Wilmington 9-7 at Brooks Field. With the win the Pirates improve to 25-17, while the Seahawks fall to 23-19.
Harris (2-0), who made his 12th appearance of the season, held UNCW hitless during his relief stint retiring 11 of 12 batters faced issuing a leadoff walk to Cody Stanley before being lifted for Seth Simmons in the ninth frame. Harris finished three strikeouts and was charged with one run that came across on a double by Hunter Ridge off of Simmons with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Simmons notched his league-leading eighth save of the season closing the door for the final two-thirds of an inning allowing one hit. Starter Brad Mincey worked 4 2/3 innings allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits with five walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Seth Frankoff (4-1) suffered the loss after allowing three runs (all earned) on one hit in 1 2/3 innings. Starter Steven Davis worked three innings allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits with three strikeouts before being replaced by Frankoff. A trio of pitchers (Ryan Walker, Andrew Harnage and Thomas Jones) bridged the gap from Frankoff to Daniel Cooper, who tossed three shutout innings of relief allowing one hit and fanning two.
Trailing 5-4 in the top of the fifth frame the Pirates pushed across five runs, four with two outs, and took a commanding 9-4 lead and never looked back. Trent Whitehead homered off Frankoff to start the frame before Austin Homan, Jared Avchen and Philip Clark all roped two-out RBI base hits. Avchen scored the final run of the inning when he crossed home on a Harnage wild pitch.
After a 40 minute rain delay, the Pirates jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Avchen's RBI single. John Wooten stroked a ball down the right field line that hit off Alex Hill's glove and landed on second base before trotting home on Avchen's hit to left.
Michael Bass helped the Seahawks tie the game at one in the bottom half of the second when he drew a leadoff walk, stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw by Avchen. Ben Thielsen scored Bass on a ground out to second base.
Corey Thompson and Wooten each had RBI base hits to highlight an ECU three-run third inning for ECU that gave them a 4-1 advantage. Cam Freeman reached on the second error of the night by Hill, who dropped a fly ball down the right field line giving Freeman second base. Whitehead moved him over on a sac bunt and Thompson followed with an RBI single up the middle. Kyle Roller was plunked for the 15th time this season putting runners at first and second for Wooten, who laced a double off the center field wall clearing the bases.
UNCW answered the Pirates with four runs in the bottom half of the frame taking a 5-4 lead. Hill walked with one out and took second on a fielding error by Freeman during Stanley's at-bat setting up Robbie Monday's 14th home run of the season and fourth straight game with a round tripper. Thomas Pope followed when he reached on a catcher's interference call and Ridge doubled to right field putting runners on second and third for Bass, who singled home Pope with a shot to right field.
UNCW would score a run in the fifth and ninth innings to cap the game at 9-7.
The Pirates will be back in action this weekend when they welcome Marshall for a three-game Conference USA tilt at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
•Head Coach Billy Godwin recorded his 186th career win, which moved him into sole possession of third place on the school's all-time wins list.
•Kyle Roller was hit for the 53rd time in his career in the third inning ... It was also the 15th time this season, which is the second most in a single-season behind Roller's school record 24 in 2009.
•Seth Simmons recorded his 19th career save and is now five away from becoming the all-time save leader (Corey Scott - 23)
•Career multi-hit Games: Jared Avchen (20), Austin Homan (13).
•Career multi-RBI Games: John Wooten (9), Jared Avchen (14).
•ECU scored five runs with two outs in the game to push its season total to 145, which is 41.3 percent of its runs on the year.