GREENVILLE, N.C. – A trio of East Carolina pitchers in Brett Mabry, Ryan Williams and Drew Reynolds combined to strikeout 12 batters en route to a 7-0 shutout of No. 25 NC State Wednesday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Riding the momentum of taking its first-ever series from nationally-ranked and Conference USA foe Rice over the weekend, ECU (20-13) struck early building a 4-0 lead after four innings and cruised to its third shutout of the season.
The Pirates jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to Ian Townsend’s sac fly to center that scored Reynolds from third. Reynolds, who collected two hits in last week’s game against the Wolfpack (19-13), singled to center before moving over to third on Zach Houchins’ base knock down the right field line. Townsend stepped to the plate and took a 0-2 offering from Logan Jernigan to center easily plating Reynolds.
Mabry (3-0) got his second start of the season (fourth career) tossing a career-high six shutout innings where he allowed six hits, three walks and tied his career-high with six strikeouts. Ryan Williams made his 19th appearance out of the bullpen punching out four in two innings of work, while Reynolds closed the game with a scoreless ninth that consisted of a hit and two strikeouts.
Jernigan (4-3) took the loss surrendering four runs (all earned) on six hits with a trio of walks and strikeouts. Will Gilbert allowed three runs (two earned) in one-third of a frame, while Jon Olczak and Cody Beckman combined for 1.2 scoreless innings to end the game.
Charlie Yorgen padded the Pirates lead, 2-0, when he scored on a Jernigan wild pitch in the bottom of the second. Yorgen, who scored a pair of runs on the night, walked to start the frame, took second on Garrett Brooks’ sac bunt and moved to third on Hunter Allen’s grounder back to the mound.
ECU opened things up in the fourth pushing across a pair of runs taking a 4-0 lead. With Yorgen on third and Brooks on first, Allen laid down a sac bunt towards the first base side of the mound allowing Yorgen to score. Dylan Brown followed with an RBI single through the right side easily plating Brooks from second.
Reynolds two-RBI triple, the first of his career, highlighted the Pirates three-run seventh that pushed the score to 7-0. Brooks drew an opening frame walk and took second when Allen reached on a throwing error by Gilbert on a sac bunt attempt. Both runners moved up 90 feet on Brown’s sac bunt and Reynolds cleared the bases with his second base knock of the night. Houchins’ single up the middle plated Reynolds capping the inning and night for ECU.
Offensively the Pirates collected nine hits with Houchins, Reynolds and Townsend each recording a pair. They also drew five walks on the evening – two each by Brooks and Yorgen, while their top four hitters in the lineup (Brown, Houchins, Reynolds and Townsend) combined to drive in five of their nine runs
ECU’s hurler’s limited NC State to eight hits – all singles – with Jake Armstrong, Andrew Knizner and Garrett Suggs each posting multi-hit games.
The Pirates will hit the road this weekend for a three-game Conference USA series at Old Dominion (Apr. 11-13) with Friday’s first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET).