GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina (33-19-1) scored 13 runs in the first three innings on its way to a 13-1 victory over High Point (24-28) Tuesday night in non-conference action at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Kevin Brandt (7-5), who pitched on three days rest, earned the win for the Pirates after tossing three scoreless innings. The senior southpaw from Fuquay Varina, N.C. struck out four and didn’t allow a hit before handing the ball over to freshman Dylan Dickens.
ECU wasted little time grabbing an early lead as it plated three runs in the first. Tim Younger walked to lead off the inning. After Drew Reynolds’ fielder’s choice ground out, John Wooten laced a base hit into left, putting runners at first and second for senior Zach Wright, who blasted a 1-1 offering from High Point starter Nick Schumacher (0-1) over the wall in right center for a three-run homer.
The Pirates did most of their damage in the second when they sent 10 batters to the plate on their way to scoring seven runs and claiming a 10-0 advantage.
Jack Reinheimer (double) and Bryan Bass (walk) reached base to lead off the inning, forcing High Point to lift Schumacher and replace him with right-hander Matt Armstead. Mike Ussery laid down a sacrifice bunt, which Armstead fielded and threw wide of first scoring Reinheimer from second. With runners on second and third, Younger delivered an RBI single into right field giving ECU a 5-0 lead.
Schumacher surrendered five runs (four earned) on three hits and walked two in an inning of work. Armstead yielded eight runs (two earned) on seven hits, while walking one and striking out one in 1 2/3 stanzas.
Reynolds kept the second frame going with a two-run single up the middle to stake the Pirates to a seven-run lead. Wooten recorded another base knock to put runners at first and second before Corey Thompson’s double to right center scored Reynolds. Chase McDonald’s RBI ground out to third and Reinheimer’s run-producing single to left rounded out the second-inning scoring.
East Carolina added a trio of runs in the third. Ussery reached on a fielding error, Younger took first on a throwing error, and Reynolds drew a free pass to load the bases for Wooten. The junior first baseman drove in two with a single to left, giving ECU a 12-0 edge. Thompson drove in the Pirates’ final run with a sharp single through the infield.
With the comfortable advantage, the ECU pitching staff was on cruise control. Dickens pitched a pair of scoreless frames in relief of Brandt before being replaced by Jake Harris, who also held High Point scoreless for two stanzas.
Deshorn Lake allowed the lone High Point run as Stephen Angelis singled home Andrew Bartlett, who walked to lead off the inning. Lake walked two and struck out three.
Lance Honeycutt struck out the only batter he faced for the first out of the ninth before being lifted for Dario Santangelo. Honeycutt, along with fellow seniors Wright, Thompson, Ussery and Younger, were taken out of the game with one out in the ninth as head coach Billy Godwin allowed each to be acknowledged by the crowd for their efforts during their stints as Pirates.
Playing in front of the home crowd for the final time, each senior contributed in the rout.
Younger scored two runs and drove in another, while Wright moved into a tie for seventh place on the program’s all-time home run list (35). Thompson went 2-for-5 and drove in a pair and fellow senior Mike Ussery finished 1-for-3 with two runs. Honeycutt faced one Panther and struck him out.
High Point relievers Adam Pratson (2.1 IP), Will Resnik (1.2 IP), Kyle Wigmore (0.1 IP) and Harrison Phillips (1.0 IP) threw the final 5 1/3 innings.
Santangelo retired the final two batters for the Pirates and preserved the 13-1 triumph.
Brandt, Dickens, Harris, Lake, Honeycutt and Santangelo combined on a two-hitter. Devin Bujnovsky and Angelis had the only base knocks for the Panthers.
Wooten led the Pirates at the plate with a 4-for-5 performance, matching a career-high with four knocks. He also drove in two and scored twice.
The Pirates hit the road this weekend for two non-conference contests. ECU takes on VMI Friday afternoon (May 18) in Richmond before squaring off against VCU Saturday, May 19. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 2 p.m. (EST).