GREENVILLE, N.C. - Jamie Ray’s pinch hit double in the bottom of the ninth scored Trent Whitehead from second to give No. 28 East Carolina a 4-3 win over Conference USA foe Marshall Saturday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win, ECU moves to 25-9 overall and 7-4 in league play and picked up its third consecutive C-USA series win. Marshall drops to 14-18-1 overall and 4-6-1 in conference action.
With the score tied at three and runners on first and second, Ray took a slider from Arik Sikula and doubled off the left field wall on the fourth pitch of the at-bat for his fourth game-winning RBI of the season.
Mincey improved to 2-0 on the season after working 1/3 of an inning allowing one hit. Freshman Seth Maness pitched eight strong innings allowing two runs on two this with one walk and seven strikeouts. Josh Ruhlman made his 20th appearance lasting 2/3 of an inning with two hits and one run.
Sikula got the loss for Marshall and dropped to 1-3 after facing three batters and allowing one hit. Starter Steve Blevins gave up three runs on six hits in seven innings with five strikeouts and two walks before pulled for Adam Dobies, who went one inning allowing one hit an one run.
Marshall jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Adam Yeager led off the first with a solo home run to right field.
Back-to-back home runs by Stephen Batts and Corey Kemp with two outs in the bottom half of the first gave ECU a 2-1 lead. Batts smacked his fifth homer of the season to straight away center field and Kemp followed with his 11th home run of the year off the scoreboard in right-center.
Victor Gomez tied the game at two in the fourth with a solo home run to right-center.
Kemp put the Pirates up 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth with his single to right that plated Ryan Wood from second. Wood drew a lead off walk, his second of the contest, then advanced to second on Brandon Casaassima’s throwing error.
Marshall tied that game at three in the top of the ninth on Gomez’ single to right field that scored pinch runner Matt Nelm from second.
ECU will look for the series sweep against Marshall Sunday afternoon when the two teams play game three with a first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
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