East Carolina used a six-run third inning, which was highlighted by a three-run home run b Mark Letchworth, to defeat High Point 12-4 inside Clark-LeClair Stadium Wednesday night. The win extended the No. 22 Pirates winning streak to ten games and moved them to 16-6 overall.
Trailing 2-1 in the third frame, ECU broke the game open putting six runs on the board and take the lead for good at 7-2. Harrison Eldridge picked up one of his two hits on the night to start the rally when he singled through to the right side. Dale Mollenhauer would follow with another single, moving Eldridge to third. Stephen Batts knotted the game at two with a sac fly to center field that plated Eldridge, before the two-out scoring borage started. After Brandon Henderson flied out to center for the second out, Ryan Tousley laced a triple down the right field line scoring Mollenhauer for a 3-2 lead.
Corey Kemp followed Toulsey’s at-bat by reaching on an Eric Marion throwing error, which would advance him to second and plate Tousley, extending the Pirate lead to 4-2. Drew Schieber then drew a walk on four straight pitches placing runners on first and second setting up Letchworth’s three-run shot to left center that came off reliever Jamie Serber to close the frame.
Bailey Daniels picked up his second win on the year improving to 2-1 after working six full innings. On the night he allowed three runs on seven hits with one free pass and two strikeouts. Chris Powell (one run), Mike Flye (one hit and one walk) and Josh Ruhlmand (two walks) each pitched an inning of relief for the Pirates.
High Point (11-13) starter Zach Zupan suffered the loss in his first start of the season, lasting 2 2/3 innings, giving up six runs (three earned) on six hits, walking one and fanning two. Serber also went 2 2/3 innings allowing three runs on three hits. Mike Grosso (0 IP, one hit, two runs), Chad Jennings (1.2 IP, one hit, one run) and Matt Schlanger (1 IP, two walks, one strikeout) closed out the game.
The Pirates wasted little time in getting on the board as they took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Eldridge, who was hit by a Zupan pitch to lead off the frame, advanced to third on a single to right by Mollenhauer and touched home on Batts’ single to right for the early lead.
High Point answered in the second when they took a 2-1 lead on a high infield chopper to short by Robby Kuzdale that scored Tucker Stobbe. Billy Alvino led off with a double to left-center then moved to third with one out on a Ryan Wood fielding error, which loaded the bases for Marion, who singled to center plating Alvino tying the game at one.
The Panthers drew closer in the top of the fifth scoring one run to cut the lead to 7-3. Alfie Wheeler singled through the left side, advanced to second on Kuzdale’s walk then scored on Jeff Cowan’s single to left field with no outs. Daniels settled down getting Williams to ground into a double play, then retiring Alvino on a grounder to third.
ECU exploded for five runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach for good at 12-3. Schieber started the frame with a single to center, which was followed by another single by Letchworth. Both runners advanced 90-feet on Ryan Wood’s sac bunt before coming home on Eldridge’s two-RBI double to right-center putting the score at 9-3. Mollenhauer drew a full-count walk placing runners on first and second with one out for Batts, who recorded his fourth triple of the season with a two-RBI shot through the right side. Batts would score on Henderson’s ground out to third to cap the scoring for the Pirates on the night at 12.
Offensively the Pirates were lead by Eldridge (2-for-3, two runs and two RBI), Mollenhauer (2-for-3, two runs), Batts (2-for-3, one run and four RBI) and Letchworth (2-for-3, two runs, three RBI and a home run).
The Pirates will turn their focus to conference play this weekend as they continue their 21-game home stand when they welcome Memphis to Greenville for a three-game series. Friday’s game will start at 7 p.m., while Saturday will be at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m.