TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Zach Wright's two-RBI double highlighted a three-run sixth inning and helped No. 29 East Carolina (10-3) to a 4-2 win over Oral Roberts (6-7) on day two of the DRASH Alabama Baseball Classic at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
With the score knotted at one, Chase McDonald drew a two out walk and Drew Reynolds followed with his third base knock of the afternoon setting up Wright's shot down the left field line that just clipped the white chalk clearing the bases and giving ECU a 3-1 lead. Philip Clark followed with a single to left center scoring Wright from second pushing the lead to three, 4-1.
Tyler Joyner (3-0) scattered fiver hits over six innings allowing one run (earned) while striking out a career-best seven hitters for his third win of the 2012 season. Andy Smithmyer tossed two scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts, Reynolds made his seventh appearance on the bump allowing one run (earned) on three hits in two-thirds of an inning before Tanner Merritt closed out the game for his third save of the year, second on the weekend, recording the final out in the ninth
ECU struck first taking a 1-0 lead in the second frame on the first of Wright's three RBI. McDonald started the frame reaching on a two-base error when right fielder Brandon Healy dropped a pop fly moving McDonald into scoring position. Reynolds followed with a bunt single to third putting runners on the corner for Wright, who singled to center plating McDonald.
From that point Oral Roberts starter Drew Bowden allowed just two hits over the next four frames retiring 13 of the next 15 Pirate hitters until the sixth.
The Golden Eagles, who stranded four runners in scoring position through the first five frames, finally got on the board in the sixth when Cam Schiller stroked a solo shot to left center tying the game at one.
Oral Roberts made things interesting in the ninth scoring a run and bring the go ahead run to the plate in Schiller with two outs. After Reynolds retired Bennett Pickar by strikeout for the fourth time on the day, Jake O'Brien laced a pinch hit single up the middle, which was followed by a Tyler Coker's pinch hit walk putting runners on first and second with no outs. Nate Goro also singled up the middle potentially loading the bases for Kevin Cho, but pinch runner Austen Colt was thrown out at second during Goro's at-bat when John Wooten threw a strike to Jack Reinheimer covering the bag putting runners on the corners and two outs. After Reynolds turned the ball over to Merritt, the sophomore hurler got Schiller to fly out to Philip Clark in right field preserving the win.
Reynolds led the Pirates offensively posting a career-best three hits, while Wright added two base knocks and led the club with three RBI. Goro led the Golden Eagles with three hits, while Jared Schlehuber and Jose Trevino each added a pair.
The Pirates will be back in action on Sunday, Mar. 11 when they play No. 16 Louisville at 11 a.m. (ET). Junior Jharel Cotton (2-0) is scheduled to take the mound for ECU, while the Cardinals will counter with RHP Travis Tingle (2-0).