Ryan Wood hit a pair of home runs, while Seth Maness went eight strong innings as East Carolina extended its current winning streak to 11 games Saturday afternoon in a 7-2 win over Rhode Island at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Maness improved to 3-0 on the season for the Pirates (12-4) allowing two runs (both unearned) while striking out four and walking one. Brett Butts made his third appearance of the season lasting 1/3 of an inning with two walks before Seth Simmons closed out the game for the final 2/3 of the ninth.
Eric Smith dropped to 0-2 on the year after going five innings, allowing five runs on six hits with three walks and a punch out. Chris Pickering (2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER) and Luke Demko (1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K) closed out the game for the Rams (5-7).
Offensively Harrison Eldridge, Stephen Batts, Dustin Harrington, Trent Whitehead and Wood each pounded out two hits.
ECU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning when Wood connected on a Smith fastball for his team-best fifth home run. With two outs Kyle Roller drew a walk then moved up to second when Jamie Ray was hit by a pitch and went to third on Austin Homan’s walk. Harrington singled up the middle driving in Roller and Ray for his second consecutive multi-RBI game of the season.
Wood drove in two more runs in the fourth on his second homer of the game and sixth of the season. Eldridge doubled down the right field line for his second hit of the game with one out before touching home on Wood’s shot to left-center.
Rhode Island finally plated a pair of runs in the sixth making the scored 5-2. Mike O’Malley reached on a error by Roller at first with one out hen scored on Zach Zaneski’s triple to right-center. Zaneski scored the second run of the frame when Rob Deveney grounded out to short.
Harrington led off the sixth inning with a solo blast to right-center, the first of his career, giving ECU a 6-2 lead.
ECU plated another run in the seventh when Roller singled in Batts from third base for a 7-2 lead. Batts doubled down the right field line with one-out before touching home on Roller’s base knock.
The Pirates and Rams will play game three of the three-game series Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. scheduled first pitch.
· ECU extended its current winning streak to 11 games.
· Ryan Wood went 2-for-5 with a pair of home runs and three RBI. His first homer of the game extended his current hitting streak to 14 games and leads the team with six home runs.
· Seth Maness pitched a career-high eight innings and did not allow and earned run.
· Harrison Eldridge was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. With his double he moves into ninth place on the schools all-time doubles list with 45. He has recorded at least two hits in the last four games and now has 63 career multi-hit games.
· Kyle Roller made his first career start at first base going 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI, run scored and two walks.
· Redshirt freshman Bobby Fowler recorded his first start behind the plate.
· With their 11 hits on the afternoon, ECU has reached double-digits in hits 12 times this year.