T.J. Hose went 6 1/3 innings with four strikeouts, while Corey Kemp and Kyle Roller each hit home runs to help No. 28 East Carolina to a 6-4 Conference USA win over Marshall Friday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Hose picked up his first conference win in the outing for the Pirates (24-9, 6-4) and improved to 2-3 on the season after allowing three runs, all unearned, with two walks. Josh Ruhlman made his 19th appearance out of the bull pen working 1 2/3 innings giving up one hit and fanning two. Freshman Brad Mincey worked the ninth frame allowing one run one hit with one strikeout.
Andrew Blain suffered the loss for Marshall (14-17-1, 4-5-1) and fell to 2-3 on the year after giving up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits in six innings with four punch outs. Andrew Hancock relieved Blain in the seventh allowing one hit and striking out one. Ryan Keil (0.2 IP, 1 R, 1BB, 1 K) and Ian Kadish (0.1 IP, 1 H) worked the eighth inning.
With the game tied at three in the third inning, Roller smacked his seventh home run of the season, a two-run shot to center field, giving ECU a 5-3 lead. Brandon Henderson collected the first of his two hits on the night with an infield bunt single and touched home on Roller’s blast.
Kemp put the Pirates up 3-0 early in the first with his 10th homer of the season, a three-run shot to right field. Ryan Wood and Stephen Batts both singled to left field with one out before Kemp’s at-bat.
Marshall capitalized on three ECU errors in the second inning tying the game at three. Tommy Johnson reached on a fielding error by Broc Sutton to start the frame then advanced to second when Jeff Rowley grounded out to short. After Brandon Casamassima had an infield single that pushed Johnson to third, Johnson trotted home when Kenny Socorro reached on another error by Sutton and a Kemp throwing error to third scored Casamassima. The Herds final run came when Adam Yeager singled up the middle plating Socorro.
ECU pushed its lead to three, 6-3, in the sixth inning when Henderson scored on a fielding error by Rowley during Jamie Ray’s at-bat. Henderson led off the frame with a single up the middle, his second hit of the night then moved to second on Harrington’s second hit of the night, a single to left.
Johnson homered to right-center off Mincey in the ninth inning to pull Marshall within two, 6-4.
ECU and Marshall will play game two of the three-game series Saturday evening with a first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
· Ryan Wood extended his current hitting streak to 12 games with his single through the left side in the first inning. He raised his batting average to .353 after going 3-for-5 at the dish.
· Corey Kemp continued his hot hitting by smacking his 10th home run of the season, a three-run shot to right field. With the blast, Kemp extended his current hitting streak to ten games, which tied a career-high. His three RBI’s is his 18th multi-RBI game of his career.
· Kyle Roller smacked his seventh home run of the season and 18th of his career in the third inning.
· Four Pirates recorded multiple hits on the night (Harrington-2, Henderson-2, Ray-2 and Wood-2).
· ECU had 12 hits on the night marking the 23rd time in 33 games that the Pirates have reached double-digits in hits.