GREENVILLE, N.C. - Stephen Batts continued his hot offensive production Sunday afternoon collecting four hits and driving in a pair in No. 27 East Carolina’s 9-2 series sweep over Monmouth at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The senior left-fielder from Wilmington, N.C. finished the three-game tilt batting a team-best .643 with nine hits, three RBI, six runs scored and swiped three bases to pace the Pirates to a 3-0 start on the young season. As a whole, the Pirates batted .365, spayed 38 hits around the park and outscored the Hawks 27-7 in the series.
Sophomore Sthil Sowers picked up his first win of the season in a relief effort that saw him work 1 2/3 innings allowing three hits with one strikeout. Fellow classmate Mike Anderson got the nod on the hill making his first appearance since May 15, 2007. The right-hander from Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. worked 5 1/3 frames surrendering two runs (both earned) on six hits with four punch outs and two walks. In his second outing of the season, Bailey Daniels worked a scoreless eighth striking out all three batters faced. Rounding out the Pirates bullpen on the day was sophomore Joe O’Malley, who worked a perfect ninth with one strikeout.
Tim Ballard (0-1) suffered the loss for the Hawks after giving up six runs on five hits in a 1 2/3 innings. Starter John McDonald looked, who allowed just one base runner through three innings, was pulled after giving up a run in the fourth frame. He allowed just two hits with three strikeouts and two walks in his outing. Nick Vallillo tossed two innings of relief (five hits, two runs, walk) before passing the ball to Matt Goitz, who fanned the final batter of the eighth inning.
Monmouth jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Nick Pulsonetti’s sac fly to left field. Brett Holland left off the game with a single up the middle, which was followed by another single by Chris Collazo, this time to right field that put Holland on third.
The Pirates knotted the game at one in the fourth when senior Brandon Henderson singled through the left side plating Batts, who roped a one-out triple down the right field line.
Batts recorded his second hit of the game, a single to center, that gave pushed across Trent Ashcraft and gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Ashcraft reached on an error, then took second on Ryan Wood’s sac bunt before touching home on Batts’ shot to center.
With one out, the Hawks reeled off three consecutive hits to tie the game at two in the sixth frame. Tim McEndy reached on an infield single then took second when Ryan Terry followed with a single to right, setting up the tying run.
In the sixth the Pirates put up five runs, all with two outs, building a six run lead, 7-2 and never looked back. Kyle Roller reached on an infield single, took second on Drew Schieber’s bunt single before advancing 90 feet to third base on Dusting Harrington’s sac bunt. After Trent Whitehead loaded the bases with a free pass and Austin Homan struck out, Ashcraft singled to center scoring Roller and Schieber for a 4-2 ECU lead. With Whitehead sitting on third, Ashcraft stole second and came home with Whitehead on Wood’s RBI double to left field. Batts closed out the scoring with an RBI single that pushed across Wood.
ECU would tack on a run in the seventh and eighth innings to capture its third win of the season and complete the sweep of Monmouth, 9-2.
The Pirates will be back in action Thursday, Feb. 26 when they play host to No. 13 Oklahoma State. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. (ET).
• Head Coach Billy Godwin is off to his best start as the Pirates skipper (3-0). He picked up career win 380 and now has 118 wins at ECU, three shy of sixth place on ECU’s all-time coaching list.
• The Pirates improve to 11-1 all-time against Monmouth.
• After setting a career-high in hits on Friday (4), Stephen Batts tied his career-high with another four-hit performance on Sunday.
• As a team, the Pirates are batting .365 and have scored 27 runs and pounded out 38 hits through three games.
• The Pirates pitching staff allowed four earned runs all weekend while fanning 27 batters and walking just seven.
• Dustin Harrington, Brandon Henderson and Kyle Roller each extended their current hitting streaks to seven games, dating back to 2008.
• Stephen Batts (60 games), Kyle Roller (29) and Drew Schieber (25) each collected multiple hits on the afternoon, while Trent Ashcraft (3), Batts (31) and Ryan Wood (19) each drove in a pair of runs.