TROY, Ala. - Cass Abercrombie tossed six solid innings and Troy scored eight two-out runs as Troy cruised past No. 29 East Carolina 8-2 Wednesday night at Riddle-Pace Field.
The Trojans (7-5) jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on the Pirates (8-3) thanks to a five-run second inning and never looked back snapping ECU’s three-game winning streak.
Abercrombie (1-0), who was making his first start in two years, struck out five over six innings of work and allowed just two runs on three hits – two of which never left the infield. Thomas Austin, Nate Hill and Tyson Workman each tossed no-hit frames helping stifle the Pirates offense, whose team batting average dropped to .275 on the season.
Danny Collins was 2-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the Trojan offensive attack. Jo-El Bennett, who tied a Troy single-game record with four walks in the game, scored on two of Collins' hits and also scored on a Logan Pierce single. Pierce drove in two runs with his single in the second and Clay Holcomb also drove in a pair.
Collins put the Trojans on the board with a two-out single in the first after Bennett walked and moved to second on a balk.
Holcomb got the five-run second rolling with a two-run double off the top of the 30-foot wall above the scoreboard in right-center field. Bennett walked and, following a pitching change that saw Pirate starter Austin Chrismon leave after just 1.2 innings, Tyler Hannah was hit by a Joseph Hughes pitch to load the bases for Collins who was also hit by a pitch to drive home a run. Pierce then followed with his two-run single to right.
ECU scored its only runs of the game around a pair of infield singles by Tim Younger and Corey Thompson to lead off the fourth inning. A four-pitch walk loaded the bases for Chase McDonald who grounded out to third to score a run. A fielder's choice plated the second run of the inning and Abercrombie got out of the jam with another grounder.
Troy, who recorded 12 free bases (eight walks, three hit batters) on the night, got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fourth when Collins lined a double to center field to score Bennett from first after he drew his third walk of the game. Hannah scored the game’s final run in the sixth on a wild pitch, the second of the night for the Pirates, after doubling earlier in the stanza.
Chrismon (0-1) was saddled with his first loss of the season after he gave up up five runs (all earned) on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts in his shortest outing as a starter. The Pirates, who entered the contest with the second-lowest ERA in the country (1.20) gave up a season-high in runs, walks and hit batters between seven their seven pitchers.
ECU will continue its Alabama Tour when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday night for the start of the DRASH Alabama Baseball Classic. The Pirates will square off against tournament host Alabama Friday, Mar. 9 at 7:05 p.m. (ET) before facing Oral Roberts (Mar. 10 at 1 p.m. ET) and No. 16 Louisville (Mar. 11 at 11 a.m. ET).