GREENVILLE, N.C. - Senior Brandon Henderson collected three hits and drove in three to pace No. 23 East Carolina to a 9-7 win over St. John's in game two of the Sixth Annual Keith LeClair Classic at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
With the win, the Pirates improve to 5-0 on the young season, while the Red Storm drops to 2-2.
Six Pirates had collected multiple hits, led by Henderson's three-hit performance, while the first six hitters in the lineup combined for 13 hits and all starters recorded at least one base knock for a total of 16 hits. It marked the fifth time this season ECU has reached double-digits in hits.
Sophomore Brad Mincey (1-0) picked up the win in relief after working 2 2/3 innings allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts. Starter Chris Heston gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits while fanning two and walking three in 5 1/3 innings. Seth Simmons made his second appearance of the season walking two and allowing a run, while senior Bailey Daniels notched his first save of the season and his career by closing out the ninth frame.
Eddie Medina dropped to 0-1 on the season after giving up three runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings of relief. Nick Cenatiempo lasted just 4 1/3 frames surrendering six runs on nine hits with three walks. Rick Armento allowed just two hits in 1 1/3 innings.
With the game tied at six in the sixth inning, junior Kyle Roller's sac fly to leftfield scored Trent Whitehead giving ECU a 7-6 lead. The Pirates would add to its lead in the seventh on Dustin Harrington's solo home run to left, which was later followed by Whitehead's two-out RBI single to right-center putting ECU up 9-6.
The Red Storm jumped out on the Pirates first inning taking a 3-0 lead. Brian Kemp led off the game with a single down the right field line and then touched home on Tim Morris' first home run of the season. Paul Karmas reached on a one-out error then took second on a Heston wild pitch. Joe Panik pushed Karmas over to third on a ground out before Greg Hopkins singled through the left side to cap the scoring.
Devin Harris tied the game at three for the Pirates in the second inning when he connected on a first pitch offering off of Nick Cenatiempo, a two-run shot to right field. Brandon Henderson got the ball rolling when he led off the frame with a solo shot to right field, the 22nd of his career. Drew Schieber followed Henderson's at-bat with a single up the middle, then took second on a wild pitch prior to crossing home on Harris' first career home run.
Back-to-back two-out doubles in the third put the Pirates up 4-3. Kyle Roller laced a shot down the right field line, which was followed by Henderson's RBI double down the right field line.
ECU pushed across a pair of runs in the fifth extending its lead to 6-3. Batts doubled to center with one out then took second when Roller received a free pass. Henderson collected his third hit of the game, a single through the left side that scored Batts and moved Roller to second. Schieber followed with his second hit of the game to center scoring Roller for a three-run advantage.
Danny Benedetti's three-run home run in the sixth off Mincey to right field tied the game at six. Panik singled to center to lead off the frame then advanced to second on Hopkins' single down the right field line before scoring on Benedetti's first homer of the season.
The Pirates will turn around and play No. 11 Oklahoma State in game three of the LeClair Classic with a first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.
Head Coach Billy Godwin picked up win 120 at ECU tying him for sixth place on the schools all-time wins list with former Pirate skipper Randy Mazey.
Hit Streaks:Dustin Harrington (9), Brandon Henderson (9 games), Kyle Roller (9), Drew Schieber (8) and Stephen Batts (7).
Carrer Multi-Hit Games:Stephen Batts (63), Ryan Wood (59), Brandon Henderson (45), Kyle Roller (31), Drew Schieber (27), Trent Whitehead (9).
Career Multi-RBI Games:Devin Harris (1) and Brandon Henderson (27).
Devin Harris hit his first collegiate home run in the bottom of the second inning to knot the game at three. He recorded his first career multi-RBI game.
Brandon Henderson drove in two runs, one coming on his 22nd career home run in the third inning.
ECU has reached double-digit hits for the fifth time this season with the XX on the afternoon.