Beckley, WVa. - Jack Reinheimer's sac fly in the ninth scored Philip Clark and Joseph Hughes tossed 1.1 innings of relief picking up the victory in East Carolina's 4-3 Conference USA series win over Marshall Sunday afternoon at Epling Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 28-23 overall and 12-9 in league play posting their fifth-straight series win. The Herd falls to 19-31 on the season and 6-15 in C-USA action.
With the game knotted at three-all in the ninth, ECU scratched across the game-winning run on Reinheimer's fly ball to right field. Clark walked to start the frame and Bryan Bass followed with another walk with no outs. After double steal moved both runners into scoring position, Reinheimer lifted a pitch deep enough in right keeping Gary Stafford from making a play at the plate.
Hughes (1-0) notched his first win of the season working 1.1 innings allowing one hit with a pair of punch-outs. Hughes entered the game in the eighth with two outs and runner on second and retired Stafford swinging on three pitches. Pirate starter Ryan Williams allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Andy Smithmyer faced one batter giving up a walk before Jake Harris, who worked two scoreless frames with a strikeout, took over in the sixth retiring Isaac Ballou swinging with the bases loaded.
Josh King (1-3) suffered the loss allowing one run (earned) on four walks with one strikeout in two innings of work. Starter Mike Taylor lasted just one inning surrendering three runs (all earned) on two hits and a pair of walks before passing the ball to Margaritonda, who worked six scoreless innings of relief holding ECU to a pair of hits and six strikeouts.
The Pirates sent nine hitters to the plate in the second inning scoring three times for an early 3-0 lead. Zach Houchins doubled off the wall in left field to get things going and extended his hit streak to 11 games. Chase McDonald walked and Ben Fultz plated the game's first run with a double off the wall in right field scoring Houchins. Luke Lowery walked to load the bases and Jay Cannon, who drew the third walk of the stanza, scored McDonald. Bass pushed across the third run of the frame when he grounded out to first scoring Fultz.
Marshall plated a run in the third inning pulling within two, 3-1. With two outs in the frame, Stafford singled up the middle and move to second when Isaac Ballou was walked for the second time in the game. Stafford came around to score on Cannon's error in left field off the bat of Nathan Gomez.
Four consecutive base hits in the bottom of the fifth from The Herd tied the game at three-all. Stafford tripled off the wall in right field and trotted home on Ballou's single to center. Gomez followed with a double off the wall in right field where Ballou was thrown out at the plate for the second out. Gomez, who moved to third on the play at the dish, scored on Eric Escobedo's single to right field.
Offensively the Pirates mustered just four hits with Houchins leading the way with his 13th multi-hit game of the season coming in the form of a pair of doubles. Bass and Fultz also added base knocks on the afternoon. Drew Reynolds saw his career-best hit streak of 14 games come to an end after a 0-for-5 performance at the plate.
The Pirates will close out the regular season at home against UCF next weekend with the series being played Thursday through Saturday, May 16-18. First pitch Thursday night is set for 6 p.m. (ET) at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.