No. 25 UNCW Tops ECU In Midweek Clash, 7-2

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Ryan LaGrange collected a season-high four hits and drove in three runs helping No. 25 UNC Wilmington to a season sweep of East Carolina, 7-2, Tuesday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.

LaGrange’s two-run double highlighted a three-run UNCW first inning and the Seahawks (27-11) never looked back. Michael Bass reached on an infield single to start the game, took second when Tyler Molinaro was hit by a pitch and landed on third when Luke Dunlap walked to load the bases. Corey Dick drove in the game’s first run grounding out to second and pushing across Bass. LaGrange stepped into the box with runners on second and third and delivered a two-base hit to left center clearing the bases for a 3-0 lead and recording the eventual game-winning hit.

Ricky Holden (4-1) picked up the win in relief working 4.2 scoreless frames allowing two hits with a pair of strikeouts. Starter Blaze Tart lasted 3.1 innings surrendering two runs (both earned) on five hits with three walks before he was lifted for Christian McDonald, who recorded a pair of outs in his second appearance out of the bullpen. Left-hander Kelly Secrest sealed the win for the Seahawks striking out Bryan Bass to end the contest.

Nick Durazo (0-4) was saddled with the loss allowing three runs (all earned) on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts in three full innings of work. Andy Smithmyer spelled Durazo in the fourth tossing 2.1 innings in relief where he also allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with three punch outs. Joseph Hughes made his third appearance of the year gave up one run (earned) on three hits in three innings before Tyler Bolton and Justin Taylor recorded one out each in relief.

ECU (17-20) pulled within one, 3-2, in the bottom of the third inning. Garrett Brooks walked to start the stanza, moved to second on Bass’ single through the right side and landed on third on Jack Reinheimer’s infield bunt single to third. With the bases loaded and Drew Reynolds at the plate, Tart let one go allowing Brooks to score on a wild pitch, while Bass and Reinheimer also moved into scoring position. Reynolds drove in the second run on a sac fly to left field scoring Bass. After Zach Houchins grounded out to third, Nick Thompson drew the second walk of the inning putting runners on first and second, but Dylan Brown flied out to center ending the Pirates frame.

RBI singles by Hunter Ridge and Drew Farber pushed two runs across and Michael Bass’ sac fly to right scored another run as UNCW extended its lead to 6-2 in the sixth. LaGrange picked up the second of his four hits with a single through the left side then scored on Ridge’s triple off the wall in right field. Ridge strolled home on Farber’ single to left field and moved around the bases on a passed ball, a sac bunt by Luis Renvill and crossed home on Bass’ fly ball.

UNCW capped the scoring in the ninth pushing across its seventh run of the contest for a 7-2 advantage. Dunlap doubled down the left field line and took third when Dick ground out to second. LaGrange drove in his third run of the contest with a single through the left side plating Dunlap.

From the fourth inning on, the Seahawks kept the Pirates off base allowing three runners to reach base on a pair of singles and an error in the ninth. Reinheimer led ECU with three hits posting his 11th multi-hit game of the season, while Bass extended his current hit streak to 10 games.

The Pirates will hit the road again this weekend when they travel to Conference USA foe UAB for a three-game tilt. First pitch of the series is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday, April 19.