Kyle Roller hit a pair of home runs, including his first career grand slam, and tied his career-high with six RBI igniting an East Carolina offense that pounded out 13 hits in an 18-3 win over Elon Tuesday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Pirates extended their current winning streak to 13 games and improve to 14-4, while Elon falls to 17-3.
Offensively the Pirates had five batters with multiple hits (Corey Kemp-3, Stephen Batts-2, Brandon Henderson-2, Roller-2 and Drew Schieber-2) and five with multiple RBI (Roller-6, Batts-3, Schieber-3, Henderson-2 and Dustin Harrington-2).
Josh Ruhlman picked up the win in relief going 2 2/3 innings allowing one run on one hit with one strike out and improved to 2-1 on the season. Starter Sthil Sowers worked 4 2/3 innings allowing two runs (earned) on three hits with two strikeouts and six walks. Seth Simmons made his seventh appearance out of the bull pen recording a pair of strikeouts in two-thirds of an inning. Bailey Daniels sealed the Pirates victory working a scoreless ninth surrendering two hits, with one walk and two punch outs.
Kenneth Ferrer (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing six runs (all earned) on three hits with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. Corey Harrilchak was chased in the third frame allowing two runs (earned) on three hits with one strikeout and two walks. Jared Kernodle (1.2 IP, 1 BB, 2 K), Greg Amorosso (0.1 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 3 ER, 1 BB) and Greg Jones (1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER) pitched the final 3 1/3 innings.
With the game knotted at two in the fifth inning, the Pirates exploded with six runs to take an 8-2 lead. Harrison Eldridge was plunked by Ferrer pitch with one-out to start the offensive explosion. Ryan Wood followed with a walk after Eldridge swiped second base, then both runners moved up 90 feet on Batts' infield single to second. Henderson singled through the left side with his second RBI of the game scoring Eldridge. On a 1-0 pitch, Roller hit a bomb to dead center field clearing the bases and capping the scoring.
The Pirates struck early taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Wood drew the first of this three walks with one out and stole second, the 11th of the season, moving into scoring position before coming home on Henderson's single.
Schieber's double down the left field line put the Pirates up 2-0 in the second inning. Roller led off the frame with a walk then moved to second on Harrington's sac bunt before coming home on Schieber's at-bat.
Elon cut into the lead in the third inning, 2-1, when Harry Austin touched home on Pat Irvine's bases loaded walk. Dallas Tarleton walked to start the inning, then moved to third on Harry Austin's double before being tagged out at home on Donny Jobe's fielder's choice. Bennett Davis followed with a walk to load the bases for Irvine.
Neal Pritchard tied the game at two in the fourth with his third home run of the season, a shot to right field.
Elon added a run in the seventh to make the game 8-3. After Chris Dove reached on a fielder's choice, he advanced to second when Jobe grounded out to second and then scored when Davis reached on a fielding error.
In a bizarre bottom half of the seventh, ECU scored 10 runs on seven hits to blow the game wide open at 18-3. Batts smacked a three-run homer to right-center field and Roller blasted his fifth career home run against Elon with a two-run shot to right field. During the inning, Batts and Eldridge were ejected from the game as well as Elon's first baseman Ryan Adams and back-up catcher Mike Melillo.
The Pirates will open up Conference USA play this weekend when they host Houston on Friday night at 7 p.m.
Harrison Eldridge stole two more bases on the night and now has 19 for the season and 50 for his career, which ranks seventh all-time on ECU's charts.
Stephen Batts has hit three home runs in the last five games.
Freshman Dustin Harrington has driven in at least one run in five consecutive games with this two RBI on the night. He extended his current hitting streak to eight games.
Kyle Roller has five home runs on the season, with three coming against Elon. His six RBI tied a career-high which he set on May 13, 2007 against UCF.
With its 18 runs, ECU has scored in double figures eight times this season. Their 13 hits marks the 14th time they have reached double-digits in that category.
During the Pirates 13-game winning streak, they have outscored their opponents 138 to 56. Three players are hitting over .400 (Eldridge-.489, Batts-.440 and Henderson-.432), while seven are hitting over .342.
The Pirate hurlers have fanned 105 batters while walking just 45 during the streak and have posted a 3.43 ERA.