GREENVILLE, N.C. – Chase McDonald’s RBI single through the left side scored Jay Cannon from second base in the ninth inning lifting East Carolina (26-22, 10-8) to a 3-2 Conference USA series win over Southern Miss (25-21, 14-7) Sunday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Heading to the bottom of the ninth with the score tied at two-all, ECU recorded three consecutive one-out hits to pick up its fourth-straight league win to stay in the hunt for the regular season title race. Drew Reynolds got the frame started with a single through the left side, which was followed by another single to left from Zach Houchins. After Cannon entered the game as a pinch runner for Reynolds, McDonald singled through the left side scoring Cannon for a 3-2 Pirate victory, their eighth in the last 10 games.
Brett Mabry (3-2) notched his third win in relief tossing 1.2 scoreless frames allowing one hit with a walk and strikeout. Starter Ryan Williams went 7.1 innings surrendering a pair of runs (both earned) on 10 hits with a walk and two punch-outs.
Conor Fisk (4-2) suffered the loss allowing three runs (all earned) on seven hits with three strikeouts in a complete game effort, which was 8.1 innings.
Luke Lowery staked ECU to a 1-0 lead in the fifth when he belted his fourth homer of the season, a moon shot down the left field line, with two outs in the frame.
McDonald extended the Pirates’ lead in the seventh to 2-0 when he blasted his seventh homer of the year, 16th career, with a solo shot to left field.
Southern Miss scratched across a pair of runs in the eighth to tie the contest at two. Travis Creel singled to left field with one out and took second on Isaac Rodriguez’ single through the left side. After Mabry entered the game for Williams, Mason Robbins delivered a two-RBI double to left center out of the reach of Dylan Brown clearing the bases.
The Golden Eagles out hit the Pirates for the first time in the series 11-7 with Robbins leading the way with three hits, while Creel and Andrew Furr each added a pair.
Reynolds extended his current hit streak to 12 games with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate. During the streak he is batting .480 (24-for-50) with ix doubles, nine RBI, 12 runs and has nine multi-hit games, including eight-straight. McDonald also added a pair of base knocks on the day and finished the week batting a team-best .500 (8-for-16) with two home runs, six RBI and five runs scored.
The Pirates will be back in action on Friday, May 10 when they travel to Beckley, WVa. for a three-game series against Marshall. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET).