GREENVILLE, N.C. – No. 25 Virginia scored 13 unanswered runs and held off a late rally by No. 37 East Carolina to take game two and claimed the weekend series, 13-9, Saturday afternoon inside Lewis Field at Clark-LeClair Stadium. Game three of the series has been cancelled due to potential inclement weather and below freezing temperatures in the area.
Trailing 4-2 after six frames, UVA (2-0) scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 5-4 lead and never looked back. The Cavaliers, who have won seven of the last nine meeting between the two schools dating back to 2010, added five runs in the eighth and three in the ninth accounting for all 13 runs.
Nick Howard singled to left to start the Cavaliers three-run seventh. Reed Gragnani followed with a double putting runners in scoring position. After redshirt freshman David Lucroy entered the game for the Pirates, Nate Irving walked to load the bases with no outs. Another Pirate pitching change brought lefty Jake Harris to the mound to face Branden Cogswell, who drove in the lead run on a sac bunt back to Harris plating Howard for the Cavaliers fifth run of the contest. Harris fanned Jared King for the second out of the frame and Derek Fisher followed with an RBI single that scored Gragnani. With ECU’s third new hurler of the inning, Joe McCarthy reached on an infield single to short which drove in Nate Irving for a 5-4 advantage.
Whit Mayberry (1-0) picked up the win tossing 2.2 scoreless innings of relief allowing one hit, issuing a pair of walks and striking out one. Starter Scott Silverstein went five full frames surrendering four runs (two earned) on seven hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts. Left-hander Nathan Kirby was touched for five runs (all earned) in 1.1 innings on seven hits with three punch outs.
Lucroy (0-1) suffered the loss where he faced one batter in relief issuing a walk to Irving, who later scored the go-ahead run. Junior Ryan Williams was solid in his Pirate debut working six innings allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts. ECU’s bullpen didn’t fare to well giving up a total of nine runs (five earned) on nine hits with seven walks and just one strikeout. Drew Reynolds was tagged for five runs of those runs on six hits with two walks and two walks. Senior Joseph Hughes allowed three run (all earned) on two hits with four walks in two-thirds of an inning before Dylan Dickens made his second appearance of the weekend recording the final out in the top of the ninth.
The Pirates jumped out to an early 2-0 led in the bottom of the second frame. With runners on second and third and one out, Houchins lifted a fly ball to left field scoring Chase McDonald from third. Bryan Bass followed with a walk, one of four times he reached base on the day, and freshman Travis Watkins delivered his second RBI of the season on his first collegiate hit through the left side that plated Nick Thompson.
Two more runs in the fourth extended ECU’s lead to 4-0. Bass roped a one-out single down the right field line and Watkins followed with a base knock through the left side. Garrett Brooks reached on a throwing error by Cogswell at short, which scored Bass. Jack Reinheimer singled home Brooks on a base hit to right field with two outs before he was picked off trying to steal second.
The Cavaliers finally got on the board in the sixth manufacturing a pair of runs to close the gap at two, 4-2. Cogswell led off with a walk, moved to second on King’s single to left center and landed on third when Fisher reached on fielder’s choice. Cogswell would cross home on a throwing error by ECU (0-2) third baseman Zach Houchins for the Hoos first run. The inning continued on an RBI double to right field by Joe McCarthy that pushed across Brandon Downes.
ECU rallied in the bottom half of the ninth scoring five runs on six hits to cap the scoring at 13-9. Sam King posted the first of four consecutive Pirate hits to start the frame to third base, which was followed by Reinheimer’s shot back up the middle, Jay Cannon’s lone hit of the game to third and McDonald’s two-RBI single to center. Thompson doubled to right-center scoring Cannon and Bass picked up his third hit of the day with a two-RBI singe to left center pushing across McDonald and Thompson.
The Pirates will be back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 19 when they play host to Campbell at 3 p.m. (EST).