No. 14 ECU baseball tops Charlotte, 7-4
The Pirates improve to 11-2 on the season
GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) - Jake Kuchmaner struck out a career-high 10 batters while his offense tallied 13 hits lifting No. 14 East Carolina to a 7-4 series opening win over Charlotte Friday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
With the win the Pirates improve to 11-2 on the season, while the 49ers fall to 8-4.
With the game tied at two-all heading to the bottom of the ninth, ECU pushed across to runs retaking the lead at 4-2. Josh Moylan registered the first of four one-out hits with a single through the left side and Bryson Worrell followed with a double to right putting runners at second and third. Ben Newton’s RBI single scored Moylan and Ryder Giles’ base knock through the right side plated Worrell.
Kuchmaner (2-0) earned the win allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits to go along with his first career double-digit strikeout performance in 5.1 innings. The lefty had at least one punch out in all five of his full frames and had multiple four times, including the side in the first. Gavin Williams earned his first save of the season (second of his career) allowing a pair of runs (both earned) on three this with five strikeouts in 3.2 innings. In all, the duo fanned 15 batters without allowing a walk – the tenth time this year the Pirates pitching staff recorded 10 or more punchouts in a game.
Andrew Lindsey (2-1) suffered the loss allowing five runs (all earned) on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts in five-plus innings of work. From there, the 49ers used six arms out of their bullpen in Jackson Boss (0.2 IP, 1 R), Spencer Giesting (0.0 IP, 2 Hs), Nick Turnbull (2.0 IP, 1 R), Trae Starnes (0.0 IP, 1 H), Sam Grace (0.0 IP, 2 BBs) and Ryan Czanstkowski (1.1 IP, 1 K).
ECU strung together three two-out hits in the second inning scoring a pair of runs and taking an early 2-0 lead. Bryson Worrell and Ben Newton laced consecutive doubles for the game’s first run, which was followed by a Ryder Giles single to left field pushing across Newton.
The first of two home runs by David McCabe came in the fourth inning tying the game at two-all. Aaron McKeithan singled to open the stanza and came around to score two batters later on McCabe’s shot to left field.
The Pirates padded their lead with two more runs in the fifth for a 6-2 advantage. Zach Agnos drew an opening frame walks and took third on Thomas Francisco’s third hit of the night. Seth Caddell’s RBI ground out accounted for the first run while Moylan’s second hit, a shot to left center, plated Francisco.
McCabe blasted his eighth home run of the young season, a solo shot to right field, pulling Charlotte within three, 6-3.
The 49ers added another run in the seventh on Austin Knight’s RBI double, but the Pirates responded in the home half of the stanza Newton’s RBI single, his third hit of the contest that capped the scoring at 7-4.
Five Pirates accounted for all 13 hits with Francisco, Newton and Worrell each tallying three. Giles and Moylan both added a pair marking the tenth time this season with double-digit base knocks. For Newton, he also added a career-best three RBI to pace the offense.
ECU and Charlotte will continue the three-game series on Saturday, March 13 with a 4 p.m. (ET) schedule first pitch and will be streamed on ESPN+.
- ECU scored the game’s first run in the second inning and improved to 9-1 on the year when striking first (157-41 all-time under head coach Cliff Godwin) …
- Thomas Francisco owns a 13-game hitting streak, which was extended in the first inning …
- Even though he went hitless on the night, Norby drew a walk in the seventh to extend his on-base streak to 20 games dating back to last season … His hit streak ended at 19 games, which is tied for the seventh longest streak for the Pirates since 2000.
- The Pirates tallied seven two-out hits and advanced runners at a 63.2 percent clip (12-for-19).
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