CHARLESTON, WVa. - Thor Meeks three-run home run highlighted a five-run fourth inning as Marshall took game three of the Conference USA series from No. 19 East Carolina, 6-2 at the Appalachian Power Park Sunday afternoon.
Marshall improves to 11-14, 3-3 in league play, while the Pirates drop their first game since March 13 to fall to 20-5 overall and 5-1 in conference action.
Greg Williams (1-1) picked up his first win of the season after going five strong innings where he allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and four walks. Justin Moore went 2 1/3 innings in relief with a pair of strikeouts, while Kyle Blank and Tyler Gatrell closed out the game tossing a combined scoreless 1 2/3 innings to preserve the win.
Kevin Brandt (4-1) suffered his first loss of the year after making his first career start. The lefty from Fuquay Varina, N.C. allowed six runs (all earned) on six hits with five punch outs and one walk. Bailey Daniels made his 13th appearance of the season out of the bull pen working three full frames allowing one hit with three strikeouts. Seth Simmons worked a scoreless eighth walking two (one intentional) and striking out one.
ECU drew first blood in the fourth pushing a pair of runs across in the fourth for an early 2-0 lead. Stephen Batts scored the first run of the game on a Williams wild pitch, which also moved Kyle Roller over to third. Batts drew a leadoff walk and Roller followed when he was plunked by a Williams pitch putting runners on first and second. After a double steal moved the runners to second and third, Batts touched home for a 1-0 advantage. Dustin Harrington’s sac fly to right scored Roller for the second run of the frame.
Meeks’ broke up Brandt’s perfect game in the fourth with a three-run homer that capped off a five-run inning them a 5-2 lead. Adam Yeager singled to start the inning then stole second before Ben Jurevicius walked. After Brandt fanned Nate Lape, Victor Gomez doubled to right center scoring Yeager from second and moving Jurevicius to the hot corner. Josh Valle followed with a single to left center pushing across Jurevicius to knot the game at two. After Brandon Casamassima popped out to second, Meeks’ took a Brant 1-1 offering over the right field wall.
Marshall added another run in the fifth for a 6-2 advantage on a Nate Lape single up the middle that scored Yeager, who led off with a double to right center, his second hit of the game.
The Pirates will be back in action Tuesday night, Mar. 31 when they play host to Elon with a first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. (EDT).
• Despite the loss, ECU took its second consecutive C-USA series of the season and holds a one-game lead over Southern Miss.
• ECU’s five hits and two runs are season-lows.
• Bailey Daniels fanned six batters in 5 1/3 innings of work over the weekend.
• Devin Harris had his hit streak snapped at 10-games with his 0-for-3 performance from the plate.
• Ryan Wood extended his current hitting streak to 11 games with his single up the middle in the first inning.
• Career Multi-Hit Games: Trent Whitehead (20).