GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina rode a complete game effort from junior Reid Love to take game one of the Conference USA doubleheader over UTSA, 3-2, while the Roadrunners claimed a 2-1 victory in the night cap at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday. With the split both teams qualified for the 2014 Conference USA Championships, which will be held next week in Hattiesburg, Miss. at Pete Taylor Park and hosted by Southern Miss.
In game two of the day, Nolan Trabanino (8-3) picked up the win surrendering one run (earned) on four hits with five strikeouts in 7.1 innings. The lefthander allowed just two runners into scoring position, which came in the second and fourth frames while retiring the side in order on three occasions. Logan Onda notched his eighth save of the year tossing 1.2 scoreless frames with a walk.
With the game knotted at one-all in the eighth, UTSA (32-23, 16-13) used an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of John Bormann for the go-ahead run, 2-1. RJ Perucki doubled down the right field line with one out, moved to third on Mike Warren’s single through the left side and darted home on Bormann’s bunt towards first base.
Ryan Williams (10-3) took the hard-luck loss giving up one run (earned) on four hits with a pair of punch-outs in 3.2 innings of relief work. Starter Tyler Bolton gave up one run (unearned) without allowing a hit, but walked five and struck out five in 5.1 frames.
ECU (31-24, 15-14) struck first on Ian Townsend’s solo home run to right center, his fourth of the season, that hit off the bottom of the scoreboard for an early 1-0 advantage.
After both hurlers threw-up zeroes over the next three innings, UTSA tied the game at one on a Bolton wild pitch in the sixth. Horacio Correa III and Perucki drew consecutive walks to start the inning before Warren reached on a fielder’s choice that forced Correa out at third. But on the same play, Zach Houchins tried to catch Perucki napping at second and misfired his throw over Charlie Yorgen’s head covering the bag putting runners on the corners with one out. Perucki scored two pitches later on Bolton’s fastball that was up and in on Warren.
From the sixth inning on, Trabanino and Onda allowed just three runners to reach, which came on an error (sixth), Hunter Allen single (eighth) and a Houchins walk (ninth).
The Pirates mustered just four hits on the game with Allen leading the way with a pair of base knocks. Dylan Brown and Townsend each added hits, while Drew Reynolds saw his 22-game streak of reaching base safely snapped.
Game 1 Recap
Love (5-3) was sensational in his outing early in the day tossing his third complete game of the season (second in last three starts), where he allowed a pair of runs (both unearned) on five hits with four strikeouts and a walk. The southpaw faced the minimum number of Roadrunners in 7 of 9 innings and retired the last 11 batters he faced in order.
Brown staked the Pirates to an early 1-0 lead in the second belting his third round-tripper of the season on solo shot down the right field line.
The Pirates added to their lead in the fifth pushing across a pair of runs for a 3-0 advantage. Allen led off the frame with a single to center, moved to second on Yorgen’s sac bunt and landed on third on Reynolds base knock back up the middle. Houchins followed with an RBI double down the left field line plating Allen and Reynolds crossed home on the same at-bat where Bromann dropped the relay (error) from the Perucki at the plate for the second run of the stanza.
UTSA answered quickly in the top of the sixth scoring two runs on two Pirate errors, 3-2. Logan Kinder reached on a fielding error by Houchins and John Welborn followed with a single to center that was misplayed by Garrett Brooks allowing Kinder to score and putting Welborn on third. Warren plated the Roadrunners final run of the contest on a sac fly to center, pulling within one.
Brock Hartson (6-3) suffered the loss allowing three runs (all earned) on seven hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Onda worked 2.2 perfect innings out of the bullpen with three punch-outs to keep UTSA within striking distance.
Houchins recorded his team-leading 27th multi-hit game to spearhead the Pirates seven-hit attack. Joining in were Allen, Brown, Bryce Harman, Reynolds and Townsend.
The two teams will meet for the rubber-match starting at 11 a.m. (ET).