Pirates Whip Panthers In Classic Opener

GREENVILLE, N.C. - Seth Maness struck out a career-high 10 batters, while Brandon Henderson drove in four runs in East Carolina's 10-5 victory over Pittsburgh in the second game of the Fifth Annual Keith LeClair Classic inside Lewis Field at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

Maness (2-0) worked five innings, allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits. Seth Simmons relieved Maness in the sixth going two innings surrendering one run on two hits with two punch outs. Josh Ruhlman made his fifth appearance for the Pirates (6-4) working the final two frames with one strikeout.

Brian Chrisman dropped to 2-1 for the Panthers (3-4) after giving up eight runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. He also walked four and struck out four. Corey Baker appeared in relief in the fourth inning working the final 4 1/3 innings allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts.

A two-run home run by Brandon Henderson in the third inning highlighted a five-run inning to give ECU a 5-0 lead. After Trent Whitehead drew a one-out walk, Harrison Eldridge singled up the middle putting runners at first and second for Ryan Wood, who drove in the games first run plating Whitehead on his double to right-center. Stephen Batts followed with an infield single that pushed home Eldridge for a 2-0 advantage. Wood trotted home when Pitt's shortstop Danny Lopez could not hold onto catcher Nick Mullins throw to second on Batts' stolen base. Batts came around to score on Henderson's team-best fourth home run.

Pitt answered the Pirates with two runs of their own in the fourth cutting the lead to three, 5-2. Chris Warner singled to center to lead off the frame and advanced to second on Mullins infield single, then third on John Schultz' walk to load the bases. Warner and Mullins scored when Sean Conley reached on a Batts fielding miscue.

ECU scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend its lead to 8-2. Eldridge picked up his second hit of the afternoon with a single to right and promptly stole second, his 11th stolen base of the year, before trotting home on Batts' single to left. Wood, who walked before Batts plate appearance, moved to third and scored when he and Batts successfully completed a double steal. The Pirates final run came when Henderson singled to right-center plating Batts.

Warner closed the Pirate lead to four, 8-4, on his two-run shot to right field. Dan Williams led off the inning with a single up the middle and came home on Warner's first homer of the year.

In the sixth, Pitt put another run on the board making the score 8-5 in favor of the Pirates. Lopez singled up the middle advancing Conley to second. Morgan Kielty advanced the runners 90 feet on his sac bunt before Conley scored on a passed ball.

Henderson drove in his fourth run of the game in the bottom of the sixth when he doubled to left-center scoring Wood giving ECU a 10-5 lead. Corey Kemp drove in the second run of the inning when he grounded out to short scoring Batts.

GAME NOTES:

Ryan Wood extended his current hit streak to eight games with an infield single in the first. He finished going 2-for-2 with three walks, three runs scored and one RBI.
Henderson cranked his fourth home run of the season and second in the last three games (other at ODU). He finished 4-for-5 with four RBI and one run scored.
Seth Maness fanned a career-high 10 batters the most strikeouts by a single pitcher since Ricky Brooks struck out 14 against Memphis on April 24, 2005, which was a Pirate no-hitter.
Stephen Batts was 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored.


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