GREENVILLE, N.C. - Junior Tyler Joyner tossed his first career complete game striking out a career-best eight batters en route to No. 30 East Carolina’s (18-8, 3-2 C-USA) 12-2 win over UAB (17-11, 2-3) Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium in Conference USA action.
Senior Corey Thompson led the Pirates offensively with three hits and Drew Reynolds collected a career-high four RBIs as ECU claimed its first C-USA series win of the season.
Joyner (4-0) surrendered just two runs (one earned) on four hits (season-low for UAB) while walking one to go with his eight strikeout performance. The southpaw faced four over the minimum and retired the side in order five times.
After falling behind 5-0 in Friday’s contest, the Pirates wasted little time in establishing an early lead when Thompson drove in Jack Reinheimer in the opening stanza to give ECU a 1-0 lead.
In the second frame, Zach Wright laced a single that scored Jay Cannon, who led off the inning with a double down the left-field line. Wright eventually scored on a throwing error by UAB’s Jacob German. Reinheimer delivered an RBI single, Reynolds plated a run with a fielder’s choice groundout, and Thompson struck again with a run-scoring double to right to cap the five-run second.
UAB scored its first run of the afternoon in the fourth after Tyler Mims drove in John Frost, who led off the inning with a single to left field.
The Pirates led 7-1 after scoring another run in the fourth. Tim Younger began the stanza with a single and reached second on a fielding error. He would come around to score a batter later after Philip Clark bunted the ball back to the mound and an errant throw over to first that sailed over Frost’s head.
UAB trimmed its deficit to 7-2 in the sixth after Ryan Ussery scored following a throwing error by Tim Younger.
ECU put the contest out-of-reach as it exploded for five runs in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by a three-run blast off the bat of Reynolds, his second of the season.
Bullard (2-3) suffered the loss for UAB after yielding seven runs (two earned) on seven hits while striking out four in five innings of work. Alex Luna pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the visitors and Ruben Tresgallo closed out the day on the mound, tossing one inning where he allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits while walking one.
Offensively the Pirates pounded out double-digit hits for the second-straight game with 12 on the afternoon. Joining Thompson (3-for-5) with multiple base knocks was fellow classmate Zach Wright, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Reinheimer and Reynolds each scored twice on the afternoon.
The Blazers committed a season-high five errors that led to six unearned runs for the Pirates.
The series will resume on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. (EST) as junior right-hander Jharel Cotton (5-0, 2.29 ERA) squares off against Michael Busby (2-1, 2.01 ERA).