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No. 8 ECU baseball blanks Elon, 15-0

ECU Baseball at Elon
ECU Baseball at Elon(WITN Sports)
Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:21 PM EDT
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ELON, N.C. (ECU) – Gavin Williams struck out a career-best 11 batters while his offense pounded out 14 hits as No. 8 East Carolina shutout Elon 15-0 Friday night at Latham Park. With the win the Pirates improve to 17-4 on the season, while the Phoenix drop to 5-10.

Williams (2-0) tossed a career-high six scoreless innings allowing four hits and walking one on the night. The right-hander had at least one punch out in all six innings including multiple strikeouts in the first, fourth, fifth (three) and six frames. He became the third pitcher this season to fan 10-plus batters in a game joining Carson Whisenhunt (10 vs. Rhode Island; 11 at Georgia Southern) and Jake Kuchmaner (10 vs. Charlotte). Nick Logusch (1.0 IP, 3 Ks), Josh Grosz (1.0 IP, 2 Ks) and Dylan Lawson (1.0 IP, 2 Ks) tossed the final three scoreless frames to preserve ECU’s first shutout of the season. The quartet of pitchers didn’t allow a hit past the third inning and combined on a four-hitter.

ECU used a pair of huge innings scoring six runs in the first inning, a season-best eight in the seventh and one in the ninth. Connor Norby led off the game with a solo blast, his seventh round-tripper of the season and third to start a game for an early 1-0 lead in the first. With one out, six-straight Pirates reached base via five hits and a walk. Seth Caddell had an RBI single through the left side that plated Thomas Francisco. Alec Makarewicz loaded the bases with a walk, which was followed by an RBI single (right field) by Zach Agnos, a two-RBI single (right side) by Ryley Johnson and an RBI sac bunt by Ryder Giles accounting for the other five runs in the stanza.

Ben Simon (0-3) was touched for six runs (all earned) on five hits with a walk in one-third of an inning. Joe Savino did a stellar job out of the bullpen tossing 5.2 scoreless frames where he gave up four hits, walked three and struck out four. From the sixth inning on, the Phoenix would use four more arms out of the bullpen in Ian Evans (0.0 IP, 4 Rs), Will Gambino (0.1 IP, 3 Rs), Ben Sieracki (0.1 IP, 1 R) and Liam Dabagian (2.1 IP, 1 R).

The Pirates plated eight runs in the seventh inning on three hits, five walks one error and a hit by pitch extending the lead to 14-0. Francisco scored on a throwing error by Evans and Makarewicz’ RBI single through the right side pushed across Caddell. After consecutive free passes by Agnos and Johnson, Makarewicz scored on a wild pitch. CJ Boyd’s bases loaded walk allowed Agnos to scored and Cam Clonch’s first collegiate hit, and RBI single through the left side plated Johnson. Christian Smallwood kept the frame going when his was hit by a pitch that scored Jacob Starling and Ben Newton’s groundout allowed Boyd to score.

Boyd registered his first career hit when he homered to left-center on a 1-0 offering from Dabagian in the ninth capping the scoring at 15-0.

Ten Pirates combined for 14 hits, while 10 also drove in at least one run. Agnos, Caddell, Clonch and Francisco each recording a pair of base knocks in the game, while Boyd and Johnson plated two runs each. It marked the 14th time this season with double-digit hits where ECU owns a 12-2 record. Both Francisco (21 games, single in first) and Norby (28 games, leadoff home run) extended their on-base streaks.

ECU’s 18 punch outs by the pitching staff tied a season-high with their Sunday performance at Georgia Southern. It was also the 14th time with 10 or more strikeouts in a game by the Pirate hurlers.

ECU and Elon will close out the two-game series Saturday afternoon with a 12 noon (ET) scheduled first pitch.

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