GREENVILLE, N.C. - Down to its last out in the bottom of the ninth, Corey Kemp picked a fine time to hit his league-leading 12 home run of the season, a two-run walk-off blast over the left field fence to give No. 28 East Carolina a series sweep over Conference USA foe Marshall 5-3 at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 26-9 overall and 8-4 in league play, while the Herd drops to 14-19-1 and 4-7-1 in C-USA action.
For the second straight game, the Pirates headed to the bottom of the ninth looking for a win. Trailing 3-2, Harrison Eldridge laced a triple down the right field line with one out to get the rally started. Ryan Wood followed with a single to right that knotted the game at three. Wood moved into scoring position on Stephen Batts ground out to second and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Kemp, who had homered in his last three games, was looking for his first hit of the day and took a 1-2 slider off of Arik Silkula to left field for his eighth game-winning RBI of the season.
Bailey Daniels picked up his first win of the season working 1.2 innings of relief where he allowed just one hit with one punch out. Starter Justin Bristow went 6.2 innings giving up three runs on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Steh Simmons (0.2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) was the first Pirate out of the bull pen where he closed out the seventh by fanning Victor Gomez.
Sikula fell to 1-3 on the year after allowing three runs (all earned) on three hits in two-third’s of an inning. Dan Straily held the Pirates at-bay through seven innings allowing one run on six this with two walks and four strikeouts. Andrew Hancock pitched one inning of relief giving up one run on two hits with one strikeout.
Nate Lape put Marshall up 1-0 in the first frame with a sac fly to right field that scored Adam Yeger, who stole second and third after leading off the game with a first pitch single up the middle.
ECU tied the game at one in the third on an infield single that scored Dustin Harrington from third. Harrington and Eldridge recorded back-to-back singles up the middle then Wood took first after being hit by a Straily pitch to load the bases for Batts.
Marshall pushed two runs across in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. Kenny Socorro drove in the first run with a RBI single up the middle that plated Jeff Rowley, who singled through the right side to start the inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Kurt Lipton singled to first scoring Socorro before Wood gunned down Yeager at the plate to end the inning.
Kyle Roller pulled the Pirates within one, 3-2, with his eighth home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth, a solo shot to right field.
ECU will hit the road Tuesday night when they travel to in-state rival N.C. State for a midweek tilt. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
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