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ECU completes weekend sweep of Western Carolina 9-3

(WITN)
Published: Feb. 18, 2018 at 7:09 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – ECU capped off the 2018 opening weekend with a series sweep of Western Carolina with a 9-3 win Sunday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. Under fourth-year head coach Cliff Godwin, the Pirates have swept three-straight home weekend opening series dating back to 2016.

How It Happened:

The Pirates once again jumped out early on the Catamounts scoring five runs in the first frame taking a 5-0 advantage. Washer plated the first two on an RBI single to right pushing across Williams-Sutton and Packard with the bases loaded just before Litton crushed his first homer of the season to left field. ECU added a run in the fourth on a WCU error and two more in the sixth on Packard’s two-RBI double extending the lead to 8-0. The Catamounts scratched a run across in the seventh Justice Bigbie’s RBI ground out and two more in the eighth on Andrew Bulluck’s two-run home run to right center to cap the scoring at 9-3.

Coach Godwin’s Take:

“I thought we played well today (and all weekend) and I was impressed with our pitching staff and its depth. We were able to jump out to an early lead again getting five big runs. (Jake) Washer had a big two-RBI hit for us in that opening frame and Connor Litton’s 3-1 approach right afterwards was the shot we needed. It was good to get a bunch of guys some playing time this weekend, which will help with their confidence and development as the season goes along.”

Pirate Pitchers:

Chris Holba (1-0) got the win tossing 4.2 scoreless frames where he scattered four hits, struck out eight and didn’t allow a walk. Ryan Ross tossed 1.2 scoreless frames with a strikeout, while a quartet of new arms experienced their first action for the Pirates in Willy Strong (0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER), Austin Covers (0.1 IP, 0 Rs), Cole Beavin (0.2 IP, 2 Hs, 2Rs, 2 ERs, 1 K) and Gavin Williams (1.0 IP, 0 Rs).

Catamounts Staff:

Zach Franklin (0-1) was touched for six runs (all unearned) on six hits with a pair of free passes and one strikeout. Jake Moebius (2.0 IP, 3 Hs, 2 Rs, 2 ERs), Jake Niezen (0.2 IP, 1 H) and Chase Walter (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BBs, 2 Ks) closed out the game for Western Carolina.

ECU’s Bats:

For the second consecutive day, the Pirates posted double-digit hits pounding out 11 in the game. Connor Litton led the way going 3-for-4 with a three-run homer and a run scored. The trio of Brady Lloyd (2-for-4), Jake Washer (2-for-3) and Dwanya Williams-Sutton (2-for-5) each posted multi-hit games. Bryant Packard (two) and Washer (two) joined Litton with multi-RBI performances, while Lloyd (two) and Williams-Sutton (three) scored multiple runs.

Player of the Game:

Litton capped off a big weekend going 3-for-5 on the day … The junior belted his first home run for the Pirates sending a 3-1 offering over the left field wall plating three runs … He also added singles in both the third and seventh frames to finish the weekend batting .556 (5-for-9) with three RBI, three runs scored and four walks.

Things of Note:

Junior Chandler Jenkins made his first start for the Pirates in right field …

Alec Burleson extended his hit streak to three games with an infield single in the first inning … On the weekend, he batted .333 (4-for-12) with three RBI and three runs scored …

Spencer Brickhouse extended his streak of reaching base safely to 19-straight games with his walk in the first inning, which dates to April 29, 2017 vs. Tulane … He finished the game 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and a run scored …

Washer established a new career-high in hits (2) and RBI (2) …

Freshman Jeremy Whitehead made his collegiate debut as a pinch runner in the eighth inning and stole his first base of the season …

Freshman Bryson Worrell pinch hit in the seventh where he flied out to left field …

Packard registered a hit in all three games of the weekend driving in three runs …

The Pirates advanced runners in the game at a 60.0 percent clip (12-for-20) and had five two-out RBI …

Up Next:

ECU will hit the road for the first time in 2018 when it travels to Campbell for a midweek clash on Wednesday, Feb. 21 with a 5 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.