JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Luke Lowery belted a home run in his second-straight game and David Lucroy struck out seven batters helping East Carolina (11-8) to a 6-4 non-conference series win over Jacksonville (6-14) Sunday afternoon at John Sessions Stadium.
Lowery, who collected three hits and drove in three runs Saturday, continued his solid hitting going 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBI. His towering solo shot in the fourth inning over the left field wall proved to be the game-winner.
The Pirates scored four runs right out of the gate thanks to a pair of hits, three walks, two sacrifices and an error taking a 4-0 lead. Bryan Bass started the game with a walk and took third on a one-out single by Dylan Brown to right center, where he advanced to second on the throw by the centerfielder trying to get Bass at third. Jay Cannon reached on a fielder’s choice sac bunt back to Alex McRae in front of the mound and moved to second when McRae over threw the catcher, Garrett Ruckel, trying to get Bass at home.
The inning continued as McRae issued back-to-back walks to Ben Fultz and Lowery, which plated Brown and loading the bases. Drew Reynolds’ sac fly to center scored Cannon and Garrett Brooks singled to right center plating Fultz from second to cap the inning.
Lucroy notched his third win of the year and improved to 3-1 after working six full innings where he allowed three runs (all earned) on seven hits with three walks to go along with his seven punch outs. Reynolds picked up his sixth save of the season tossing a scoreless 1.1 innings of relief. Jake Harris bridged the gap between Lucroy and Reynolds giving up a run in 1.2 frames.
McRae (1-2) suffered the loss surrendering five runs (three earned) on four hits in seven frames. Jeff Tanner gave up one run in relief, while Will Flor and Adam Maxon combined to toss a scoreless ninth.
Trailing 4-0 in the third frame, Kris Molter finally got Jacksonville on the board with his second home run of the season to left field.
A pair of hits in the bottom of the fifth pulled Jacksonville within two, 5-3. Zach Houck walked for the fifth time in the series starting the stanza, moved over to second when Braddock Rowe was hit by a pitch and scored on Nathan Koslowski’s RBI single to right field. Rowe, who landed on third after Koslowski’s base knock, scored on Brady North’s sac fly to center.
The Dolphins scored their fourth and final run of the day in the seventh inning when North ground out to first pushing across Koslowski, who tripled down the left field line with one out making it a one-run game, 5-4.
Travis Watkins’ RBI single to right center scored Zach Houchins from second base giving ECU a 6-4 advantage. Houchins walked to start the frame and took second on Reynolds sac bunt.
ECU will be back in action on Tuesday, March 19 when it travels to instate rival UNC Wilmington for a 6 p.m. (ET) first pitch.