Pirates Take Series Opener At Tulane

Bryan Bass’ sac fly RBI in the top of the 13th scored Ben Fultz and helped East Carolina (16-18, 2-5) to a 3-2 Conference USA series opening victory over Tulane (17-19, 4-6) Friday.

With the game knotted a two-all, Fultz laced a one-out double down the right field line in the 13th frame to get things going for the Pirates. Garrett Brooks, who had a career-best three hits, followed with a single to left and Nick Thompson loaded the bases with another pinch hit single to left. Bass sent a 1-2 offering from Andrew Garner to medium left field scoring Fultz for his second career game-winning RBI.

Drew Reynolds (2-1) picked up his second win in relief after tossing 3.1 perfect innings with six strikeouts, which tied his career-high. Starter Jeff Hoffman worked a career-long 9.2 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with six punch-outs and a pair of walks. He became the 13th pitcher in league history to hurl nine-plus innings in a game and the first since Seth Maness worked a school-record 10.0 innings against Rutgers in 2011.

Garner (1-2) suffered the loss one run (earned) on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings of relief. Tony Rizzotti allowed two runs (both earned) with four punch-outs and two walks in 8.2 innings. Brady Wilson finished off the ninth recording one out.

Chase McDonald staked the Pirates to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning on a sac fly to right-center scoring Zach Houchins, who tripled with one out down the right field line.

Houchins, who collected more hits than Tulane did all night with his 4-for-6 performance, extended ECU’s lead to 2-0 with his third home run of the season sending a shot over the left field wall in the ninth inning..

Tulane scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth tying that game at two-all and sending the contest into extra innings. Brennan Middleton singled up the middle to start the frame and advanced to second when Brandon Boudreaux reached on a fielder’s choice. McDonald fielded the ball cleanly at first, but under threw Jack Reinheimer covering second putting runners on first and second with no outs. Sean Potkay followed with a double down the right field line scoring Middleton and pulling the Wave within one, 2-1. After Garner went down swinging for the first out, Garrett Cannizaro reached on a throwing error to first by Reinheimer that scored Boudreaux from third easily to tie the game. Hoffman promptly retired Tim Yandel (pop out to second) and Bowen Woodson (fly out to right) to end the inning.

ECU had chance to win the game extras before the 13th. In the tenth, the Pirates left Bass on third and Reynolds on second when Dylan Brown struck out to end the frame. The next stanza Reinheimer left the bases juiced when he went down swinging in the 11th. Houchins singled to start the inning, Brooks had a one-out base knock to left field but was out at second on Travis Watkins’ fielder’s choice. Bass walked to load the bases for Reinheimer.

The Pirates tallied 14 hits to the Wave’s three with eight players collecting at least one hit. Houchins was a double shy of hitting for the cycle, while Brooks picked up his first career multi-hit game. Reynolds produced two hits, both singles, and Bass extended his hit streak to seven games.

The teams will return to the diamond on Saturday, Apr. 13 for game two of the series at 3 p.m. (ET).