BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Ben Futz’ RBI double in extra innings scored Jay Cannon lifting East Carolina (24-21) to a 10-inning 9-7 win over Gardner-Webb (22-22-1) Tuesday afternoon at J.H. Moss Stadium.
With the game tied at seven-all, ECU scored a pair of runs in the 10th to pick up its ninth win in the last 12 games. Chase McDonald singled up the middle with one out and was immediately lifted for Jay Cannon as a pinch runner. After Cannon moved into scoring position, Fultz doubled to right center plating Cannon and giving the Pirates their first lead of the contest. Philip Clark followed with another single to right center putting runners on the corners and Luke Lowery reached on a bunt single to the right of the mound pushing across Fultz.
Ryan Williams (6-2) picked up his second win of the season in relief tossing 2.1 scoreless innings allowing a hit. Drew Reynolds notched his league leading 11th save retiring the side in order in the 10th. Pirate starter Nick Durazo lasted three innings in his sixth start allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits. Brett Mabry allowed a run (unearned) on two hits with a walk in two innings before handing the ball to Jake Harris. The left-hander gave up two runs (both earned) on two hits in 1.1 innings and Andy Smithmyer allowed a run in one-third of a frame.
Jeff Howell (1-3) took the loss giving up two runs (both earned) on four hits with two strikeouts in two innings Hunter Smith tossed a career-high 6.2 innings allowing three runs (all earned) on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Mitch Warner and Connor Scarborough each allowed two hits in their outings.
ECU rallied for four runs on four hits in the eighth to tie the game at seven. Jake Reinheimer walked to start the comeback and advanced to third on Reynolds double to down the left field line. After a Bulldog pitching change saw Scarborough enter the game, Zach Houchins immediately singled up the middle plating Reinheimer, where he took second on a relay throw to the plate and Reynolds took third. McDonald grounded out to second for his lone RBI of the night scoring Reynolds. Clark kept the inning going with a two-out RBI single through the right side that scored Houchins. Lowery followed with a double to left center pushing across Clark knotting the game at seven.
Gardner-Webb took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to Benji Jackson’s RBI single. JJ Nazzaro doubled to start the frame and after Scott Johnson popped up to first base in foul territory, Jackson delivered a single up the middle plating Nazzaro.
Bryan Bass tied the game at one-all in the third with his second hit of the game. Chris Gosik walked to start the inning then took second on Garrett Brooks sac bunt. With two outs, Bass singled through the right side scoring Gosik for his 12th RBI of the season.
Brad Collins and John Harris each collected RBI in the fourth to give Gardner-Webb a 3-1 lead. Jackson leadoff with a single then scored on Collins double to right center. Scott Coleman moved Collins over to third on a ground out and Harris lifted a fly ball to right field plating Harris.
GWU scored its fourth run of the afternoon on a passed ball taking a 4-1 lead. Nazzaro was hit by a Mabry pitch and took third on Johnson’s single to left center before strolling home on the Pirate passed ball.
ECU scored a pair of runs on a two-out runs on Dylan Brown’s pinch-hit double in the seventh to pull within one, 4-3. McDonald and Fultz started the frame with singles to right before Gosik reached on a fielder’s putting runners on first and second. After Clark came into pinch run for Gosik and came around to score along with McDonald on Brown’s two-base hit to right center.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 7-3 in the seventh. Nazzaro scored on a wild pitch from Smithmyer for the first run. With the bases loaded Henry Rundio was hit by a pitch that scored Jackson and Tyler Best’s bases loaded infield single to second plated Coleman.
Bass, Clark, Fultz, Lowery, McDonald, Reinheimer and Reynolds each collected two hits for the Pirates. Reynolds, who has 13 hits in his last five games, extended his hit streak to nine games. Brown and Lowery drove in a pair of runs on the day.
The Pirates will return to action on Friday, May 3 when they play host to Southern Miss in Conference USA action. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET) at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.