MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Freshman Seth Maness struck out eight batters and allowed one run in 8.2 innings as No. 30 East Carolina took game one of a three-game series against Conference USA foe Memphis Thursday night 8-1 at Nat Buring Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 38-16 and 12-10 in league action, while the Tigers fall to 16-37 overall and 4-17 in C-USA.
Maness (9-1) came one out shy of his first complete game shutout allowing Memphis' lone run in the ninth inning with two outs when Robby Graham singled down the left field line scoring Brett Bowen from second. Bailey Daniels closed out the game in the ninth throwing one pitch and getting Zach Helton out on a fielder's choice.
Brach Davis worked seven innings for Memphis allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits with four walks and one strikeout. Marc Ashley worked the eighth inning allowing four runs on three hits, while Andrew Haley pitched the ninth frame giving up a walk and a hit.
Corey Kemp gave the Pirates an early 1-0 lead in the first when he grounded out to third scoring Harrison Eldridge from third base. Eldridge doubled down the left field line to start the game, the 55th double of his career, then took third on a double steal with Ryan Wood setting up games first score.
Kyle Roller extended the Pirates lead to 2-0 when he grounded out to second scoring Jamie Ray from third. Ray singled to right field to start the game then swiped ninth base of the second and moved to third on Drew Schieber's ground out before touching home.
In the eighth inning ECU scored six runs to put the game out of reach at 8-0. Brach got into some trouble when Stephen Batts reached on an error by Graham reaching second base. Kemp followed with a walk and Brandon Henderson loaded the bases when he was plunked by an Ashley pitch. Ray singled to center scoring Batts then Drew Schieber drew a walk scoring Kemp pushing ECU's lead to 4-0. Dustin Harrington plated two runs on an 2-RBI double down the left field line before just before Eldridge picked up his third hit of the night on a 2-RBI single up the middle to cap the scoring.
The Pirates and Tigers will meet for game two of the three-game series Friday night starting at 6:30 p.m.
Harrison Eldridge recorded his 80th career multi-hit game with a single up the middle in the third finishing the game 3-for-5. He stole his 62nd career base in the first which is third all-time.
Corey Kemp drove in his 63rd RBI of the season plating the games first run.
Dustin Harrington extended his current hitting streak to 12 games with a bloop-single to right-center in the fourth inning. He finished the game going 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Seth Maness picked up his ninth win of the season after fanning eight batters and walking one. He becomes the second freshman pitcher (Mickey Britt, 1977) in ECU's history to win nine games.