Roller Lifts Pirates Over The Herd 7-4
Tousley Cranks Eighth Home Run
CHARLESTON, WVa. - Freshman Kyle Roller hit his first career home run in the top of the eighth to give East Carolina the lead for good as the Pirates picked up their fifth win in Conference USA play 7-4 over Marshall in game one of a double-header Friday afternoon in Appalachian Power Park.
Senior Jason Neitz improved to 4-1 on the season after pitching 1 1/3 inning of relief with two strikeouts. Closer Shane Mathews notched his tenth save of the season working a scoreless ninth frame. ECU (23-12, 5-5) starter T.J. Hose went 5 2/3 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts before giving way to Brett Butts in the sixth to close the inning. Butts also pitched a scoreless inning of work before being pulled for Neitz.
Nick Wolle fell to 0-5 on the year after giving up the game-winning run, Roller’s home run, in the eighth. He lasted 1 2/3 innings. Starter Jeremy Slone went six innings, allowed four runs on eight hit with five strikeouts and three walks.
Marshall (14-18, 0-7) took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on an inside the park home run by Nate Lape to centerfield that bounced of the wall and over the head of Harrison Eldridge back toward right center. Jeff Rowley scored ahead of Lape after he singled to center and advanced on a pass ball.
ECU answered in the top of the third inning taking a 3-2 lead thanks to a two-run shot to right-center by Ryan Tousley, his eighth of the year. Eldridge doubled to right field to start the frame, advanced to third on a Dale Mollenhauer fly out to center and then crossed the plate on a Corey Kemp single before coming home on Tousley’s shot.
Josh Valle put the Herd up 4-3 on the Pirates in the sixth inning with a single to left field that plated Rowley, who singled to center following Brandon Casamassima’s solo shot to left field that knotted the game at three.
The Pirates tied the game at four in the seventh on Ryan Wood’s sac fly to right field that scored Mollenhauer, who led off the inning with a triple to right-center.
ECU added two more runs in the top of the ninth extending its lead to 7-4 when Jake Dean singled to right field then moved to second on a error by Lape, scoring Kemp from second and Wood.
Offensively the Pirates pounded out 11 hits with Tousley and Stephen Batts each collecting two.