GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning breaking a five all tie to extend the Pirates current winning streak o four games with a 9-5 victory over former Colonial Athletic Association foe Old Dominion Wednesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Harrison Eldridge and Stephen Batts put the Pirates (25-12) on top for good as each belted a pair of two-run shots in the seventh.Brandon Henderson singled to right to start the inning then was lifted as Jamie Ray came in to pinch run. Ray scored his seventh run of the year on Eldridge's shot to right field that put ECU up 7-5. Dale Mollenhauer followed Eldridge's at-bat with a walk then touched home on Batts' second home run of the season to left-center pushing the lead to four.
Junior Josh Ruhlman improved to 3-0 after finishing the seventh inning for Pirate starter Josh Dowdy, pitching two-thirds of an inning with one strikeout. Dowdy worked into the seventh inning for the fourth time this year going 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits with five punch-outs before giving way to Rulhman. Bailey Daniels made his 11th appearance of the season striking out the side in the eight inning and Conference USA save leader Shane Mathews worked a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts.
Cory Toth fell to 1-1 after replacing starter Dexter Carter in the sixth inning. Toth faced two batters allowing one hit, one run (earned) before giving way to Ryan Bergh. Bergh didn't fare to well as he also last just 1/3 of an inning, surrendering three runs on two hits. Matt Walls (1/3 IP, one hit) and Hunter Hall (1.1 IP, one hit, two strikeouts) each saw action out of the pen. Carter finished the game allowing five runs (all earned) on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings of work.
ECU freshman Kyle Roller put the Pirates up 2-0 in the bottom of the second thanks to his second home run of the season that landed on the Cliff Moore Football Practice Facility in right field. Ryan Wood lead off the frame with a double down the left field line, one of three hits on the night, and then advanced to third on Corey Kemp's ground out to second before trotting home on Roller's blast.
ODU (25-16) answered the Pirates in the top of the third plating three runs of its own to take a 3-2 lead. Mike Zahm reached on a two-out infield single to short, moved to second on David Burns single to center and advanced to third on Anthony Shawler's walk to load the bases for Tyler Belcher. With one swing of the bat, Belcher knotted the game at two with a single to left field that scored Zahm and Burns. The Monarchs took the lead on another single, when Nick Erdman roped a shot to left field that plated Shawler.
The Pirates tied the game at three when Stephen Batts singled home Dale Mollenhauer on a line shot back to the pitcher (Carter). Mollenhauer roped one-out triple to center field that went over head of Brooks Sinnen before touching home.
Gerard Hall gave ODU a 4-3 advantage in the top of the fourth when he took a Dowdy fastball to left field for his first home run of the season.
In the fifth inning, Drew Schieber tied the game at four when he scored on a Belcher passed ball. Schieber lead off the inning with a double, then moved to third on the first of two passed balls by Belcher on the night.
Wood put the Pirates up 5-4 in the sixth inning with his second home run of the season that wasted little time in leaving the yard to left field.
Zahm drew the Monarchs even in the top of the seventh inning on a sac fly to left field that scored Chris Keenan, who singled to left and advanced to third on a fielding error by Henderson with one out.
The Pirates pounded out 12 hits on the night and had three batters with two or more hits (Wood-3, Eldridge-2 and Batts-2). ECU's bullpen did not allow a run in 2 2/3 innings of work and combined for six strikeouts.
ECU will be back in action this weekend when they play host to Savannah State in non-conference action. Freshman Mike Anderson will get the call on the hill Friday night when the two teams square off at 7 p.m. (EDT).