GREENVILLE, N.C. - Senior Kevin Brandt tossed eight strong innings and East Carolina (29-16-1, 11-7-1) used a 14-hit attack to claim an 8-2 victory over Marshall (15-29, 3-13) Friday night in Conference USA action at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Brandt (6-4) did not allow a run for 7 2/3 frames before surrendering a two-out RBI double to Sergio Leon in the eighth.
The senior southpaw scattered six hits over eight innings, while walking four and striking out three. Of the four Thundering Herd batters who reached on walks, three were picked off by Brandt, who moved his C-USA leading total to seven.
East Carolina jumped out to an early lead with a run in the first. Drew Reynolds reached first on a one-out error by Leon and eventually scored on John Wooten’s single to center.
The Pirates gave Brandt plenty of cushion to work with in the second as they plated four more runs to grab a commanding 5-0 lead. Ben Fultz delivered a two-run single to right to push the lead to 3-0 before Reynolds and Wooten each collected RBI base knocks to extend the lead to a five-run margin.
Marshall starter Lance Elder (1-5) was chased after ECU’s four-run second. The right-hander was touched for five runs (four earned) on seven hits in two innings of work.
Thundering Herd reliever Joe McGillicuddy replaced Elder and held the Pirates off the scoreboard until the sixth. Reynolds singled up the middle with one out – his third hit of the night – and later came around to score on another hit by Wooten.
McGillicuddy lasted 3 2/3 frames and yielded three hits and one run (earned). He walked two and struck out one before handing the ball over to Terrence Moore.
ECU padded its lead to 8-0 in the seventh behind a two-run, opposite field round-tripper from sophomore Chase McDonald. Reinheimer served a single into right field to lead off the stanza and scored when McDonald drove a 1-1 delivery from Moore over the wall in right.
Moore allowed two runs (both earned) on four hits in 2/3 of an inning. He walked one and struck out one.
Kolin Stanley pitched the last 1 2/3 frames for the Thundering Herd. He induced an inning-ending double play in the seventh and worked a perfect eighth.
Marshall finally broke into the run column against Brandt in the eighth. Thor Meeks and Mikey Jimenez drew back-to-back walks to put runners at first and second with no outs. Tripp Faulk, who entered as a pinch-runner for Meeks, was picked off second base for the first out. Brandt got Isaac Ballou to pop out behind the pitcher’s mound for the second out, but was unable to escape the inning unscathed. Leon drove an 0-2 pitch to deep right field for a run-scoring double.
Austin Chrismon pitched the ninth for the Pirates and gave up one run. The sophomore right-hander surrendered three hits and struck out one.
Reynolds led the Pirates at the plate with a 3-for-5 effort in which he scored three runs and drove in one. Wooten drove in a pair and also collected a trio of knocks. Thompson, Reinheimer and McDonald each had multi-hit performances for East Carolina.
ECU and Marshall continue their three-game series Saturday, May 5 with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. (EST). Prior to the first pitch, ECU will recognize D.J. Jauss, Lance Honeycutt, Thompson, Zach Wright, Younger and student assistant coach Trent Whitehead who all graduated this weekend. The Pirate family will also acknowledge six players during the Senior Day ceremony starting approximately 1:40 p.m.
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