GREENVILLE, N.C. – After sprinting out to an 11-2 lead, East Carolina held off a Binghamton rally, taking game two of the Greenville Regional, 11-7, in front of a crowd of 4,150 at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Dustin Harrington led the offense for the Pirates, as he produced three RBI in four at bats while three other East Carolina batters notched two hits as part of a 10-hit effort. Bailey Daniels picked up his second win of the season in relief of starter Chris Heston, throwing four innings and recording three strikeouts.
Joe Charron turned in an impressive outing at the plate for the Bearcats, going 3-for-5 with four RBI and two home runs. Corey Taylor matched his teammate, collecting three hits in five at bats with two RBI. On the mound, Murphy Smith took just his third loss of the campaign, falling to 7-3 while allowing eight earned runs on nine hits
After Heston retired the first two Bearcat batters in the top of the first, he hit Kyle Klee before Corey Taylor poked a single through the middle. However, the pitcher induced a fly ball from Dave Ciocchi to end the inning.
East Carolina took little time to break through in its half of the first, as centerfielder Trent Whitehead took the first pitch he saw and smashed his seventh home run of the year over the left field fence to give his team a 1-0 advantage. Then, after Stephen Batts doubled down the right field line, he stole third and scored on a balk to make the score 2-0 after one complete inning.
Binghamton threatened in the top of the second, as Charron reached on an error and Peter Bregartner singled, advancing Charron to third with no outs. However, Jeff Abrams hit a ground ball to third that resulted in a double play, putting out both runners and effectively ending the half-inning. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the frame, Devin Harris hit the Pirates’ second long ball of the contest, giving his squad a 3-0 lead.
East Carolina continued scoring in the bottom of the third, scoring four runs on three hits to take a 7-0 advantage. Harrington provided three of the runs, putting a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence for his 13th round-tripper of the campaign and the Pirates’ 98th.
With one away in the top of the fourth, the Bearcats broke up the shutout as Charron produced a home run on a 2-2 count that fell just beyond the left field wall, making the score 7-2. It was the sixth long ball of the year for the designated hitter and the second-most on the team.
ECU extended its streak of scoring in every inning in the fourth, plating four runs on four hits and two Binghamton errors to assume an 11-2 lead. Kyle Roller provided two RBI in the at bat, lacing a one-out single through the right side that scored Ryan Wood and Batts, who reached base via a single and an error, respectively. The Bearcats responded in the top of the fifth, stringing together five hits in six at bats to score four runs and cut their deficit to 11-6.
Binghamton drew closer in the top of the seventh, as Charron smacked his second home run of the day, pulling his team to within 11-7. However, Daniels shut the Bearcats out the rest of the way, preserving the win for the Pirates.
East Carolina advances to the winner’s bracket and will take on No. 2 seed South Carolina at 6 p.m. while Binghamton returns to action at 2 p.m. against No. 3 seed George Mason in an elimination game.