ELON, N.C. - Trent Whitehead and Devin Harris each had three hits and Zach Woods picked up his seventh win of the season as East Carolina took the season series from Elon 7-4 Tuesday night at Latham Park. With the win the Pirates snap their four-game losing skid and improve to 28-11, while the Phoenix drop to 34-19.
The Pirates used a season-high 10 pitchers and Woods, who made his 11th start of the season, improved to 7-3 after working a scoreless inning with a strikeout. Junior Seth Maness notched his first save of the season and third of his career tossing 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief with a strikeout. Kevin Brandt and Brad Mincey each threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, freshman Jake Harris (1.0 IP), Mike Anderson (2/3 IP) and Seth Simmons (2/3 IP) also had scoreless outings.
Jared Kernodle fell to 6-3 on the year after being touched for five runs (all earned) on seven hits despite fanning six batters. The Phoenix used four pitchers to close the game holding the Pirates to just a pair of runs on six hits.
Whitehead wasted little time in getting the Pirates on the board smacking his third home run of the year to lead off the game for a 1-0 advantage.
Cam Freeman and Whitehead each had RBI base hits to push the Pirates lead to 3-0 in the second inning. Devin Harris doubled to right center to start the game and cam home on a two-out double down the left field line by Freeman. After Chris Gosik was plunked by a pitch, Whitehead singled through the left side pushing across Freeman.
Elon got on the board in the bottom of the second cutting ECU’s lead to two, 3-1. Neal Pritchard singled up the middle then took second when Matt Hinson drew a walk from Somers. Ryan Adams followed with a RBI single to left field scoring Pritchard.
The Pirates continued to score in the fourth inning pushing across two runs for a 5-1 lead. Freeman reached base after being hit by a Kernodle fastball in the back, stole second and then took second on Gosik’s bunt single back to the mound where nobody was covering first base. Whitehead picked up his third hit and third RBI of the contest singling home Freeman with a shot back up the middle. Corey Thompson put down a text book sac bunt the moved Gosik to third, who then came home on Kyle Roller’s single down the right field line.
Pritchard smashed his 10th homer of the season, a two-run shot, to pull the Phoenix back within two 5-3. Mike Melillo drew a two-out walk and then trotted home on a no-doubter to left field that cleared the fence by 10-feet.
Thompson’s sac fly to deep right center extended ECU’s lead to three, 6-3, in the sixth inning. Gosik registered his second hit of the night with a double down the right field line to start the frame then took third on Whitehead’s groundout to first before touching home on Thompson’s fly ball to Matt Hinson.
Niko Fraser’s RBI single up the middle pulled Elon back within two, 6-4, in the bottom of the eighth inning. Harry Austin doubled to right center with two outs then came across on Fraser’s base hit.
Devin Harris’ RBI single to left scored Thompson putting ECU’s lead back at three, 7-4 in the eighth inning. Thompson reached base after being hit by a Girdwood pitch then took second on a passed ball with two outs before touching home from second on Harris’ third hit of the night.
Offensively the Pirates pounded out 13 hits with Gosik (2 hits), Harris (3) and Whitehead (3) each recording multi-hit games. Roller continued to get on base reaching twice on the night (single and walk) and set the school’s single-season walk record with a free pass in the sixth frame, his 53rd on the year.
The Pirates will be back on the field this Friday, May 14th when they travel to UCF for a three-game Conference USA series at Jay Bergman Field.