GREENVILLE, N.C. - Redshirt freshman David Lucroy struck out a career-high 12 batters en route to a complete game, two-hit shutout helping East Carolina to a 4-0 series win over Monmouth Sunday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win, the Pirates improve to 9-5 on the season, while the Hawks drop to 3-7.
Lucroy, who improved to 2-1 on the season, was masterful on the afternoon retiring 27 of 31 batters faced including 16 in a row from the third to the eighth inning. He posted the Pirates' first complete game shutout since Seth Maness' gem against Southern Miss back at the 2011 Conference USA Championships.
The right-hander from Umatilla, Fla. looked shaky in the first inning when he allowed an opening frame walk to Steve Wilgus and hit the number three hitter (Jake Gronsky) with one out. But Lucroy settled down by fanning Chris Perret and getting Craig Sweeney to ground out to second leaving the runners stranded at second and third.
Lucroy retired the side in order in the second and got Casey Saverio to ground out to Bryan Bass at second to start the third stanza before Wilgus reached for the second time of the day, this time on an infield single to the left of the pitcher's mound. From that point on, Lucroy retired the 20 of the final 21 batters he faced giving up a two-out single in the eighth to pinch hitter Joe Bamford. He finished off his first collegiate complete game with his 12th strikeout when Dan Shea went down swinging, the ninth swinging third strike of the contest. In all, Lucroy fanned at least one batter in seven of nine innings and had multiple strikeouts five times.
ECU took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Dylan Brown's sac fly to center. Bass walked to start the frame and took third on Drew Reynolds single down the right field line. After Chase McDonald walked to load the bases, Brown sent a short fly ball to center field scoring Bass easily.
The Pirates added another run in the second pushing their lead to 2-0 on a sac fly from Travis Watkins. Chris Gosik doubled to left center and moved to third on Garrett Brooks ground out to second before trotting home on Watkins fly ball to center.
Jay Cannon scored on an errant throw by Saverio in the fourth extending ECU's lead to three, 3-0. Cannon led off with a single up the middle and landed on third on Gosik's double down the left field line, but the Hawks miscue allowed Cannon to score and Gosik to move up to third.
ECU capped the scoring in the eighth when Brown laced his second triple of the season sending a shot to right center field with one out. He would score on moments later on a Chris McKenna wild pitch giving the Pirates a 4-0 advantage.
Jonathan Shippee (0-2) suffered the loss allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits with two walk in three innings of work. Jeff Paglione tossed four scoreless frames in relief giving up two hits, while McKenna allowed one run (earned) on one hit in one inning.
Gosik, who made his second straight start, led ECU with two hits, while six other Pirates recorded one base knock. Jack Reinheimer extended his current hitting streak to nine games with his double to right center in the third frame.
The Pirates will be back in action on Tuesday, Mar. 12 when they play host to Old Dominion at 5 p.m. (ET). ECU will then hit the road for a midweek matchup against Campbell (Mar. 13) before heading down south to Florida for a three-game series against Jacksonville (Mar. 15-17).