No. 8 ECU Baseball defeats No. 12 UNC, 9-5

Published: May. 8, 2019 at 11:16 PM EDT
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Alec Burleson worked four innings on the mound and drove in a pair of runs, while Jake Washer belted his first career grand slam helping No. 8 ECU to a 9-5 win over No. 12 UNC Wednesday night at Boshamer Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 37-11 on the season and the Tar Heels drop to 35-13.

Washer’s grand slam highlighted ECU’s six-run first inning as the Pirates jumped out early on UNC. Bryant Packard started the game with a single to center and took second when Lane Hoover reached on an error. Spencer Brickhouse followed with the first of his three walks on the night loading the bases. Burleson’s infield RBI single pushed across Packard and Turner Brown’s bases loaded walk scored Hoover. Washer stepped to the plate and took a full count offering from Andrew Grogan to left field for his ninth homer of the season.

Burleson (5-1) picked up the win on a staff night allowing one run (earned) on two hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts over four frames. Cam Colmore gave up two runs (both earned) on three hits in one-third of a frame and Gavin Williams tossed 1.2 scoreless frames in relief with a walk and two punch outs. Sam Lanier (2.0 IP) and Evan Voliva (1.0 IP) also came out of the bullpen each allowing a run in their outings.

Grogan (4-2) took the loss after being touched for six runs (five earned) on three hits with a pair of walks in one-third of an inning. UNC used four arms in relief getting outings from Austin Love (1.2 IP, 3 Hs, 1 R, 2 BBs), Will Sandy (3.0 IP, 3 Hs, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 Ks), Hansen Butler (3.0 IP, 2 Hs, 1 R, 5 Ks) and Josh Dotson (1.0 IP).

The Pirates added a run in the second on Brown’s RBI single making it a 7-0 ball game. Hoover singled through the right side, took second on Brickhouse’s walk and moved to third on Burleson’s sac bunt before strolling home on Brown’s base hit to right.

UNC scored its first run of the evening in the second inning making it a 7-1 ball game. Ike Freeman singled up the middle then moved to second on Ashton McGee’s walk and took third on Brandon Martorano’s fly out to right field. Dylan Harris plated Freeman on a ground out to first base.

Another run in the third for ECU pushed its lead to 8-1. Ryder Giles started the stanza with an infield single to first and two batters later moved to second when Hoover reached on another Tar Heel error. Brickhouse loaded the bases with another free pass and Burleson’s sac fly to right easily allowed Giles to score from third base.

Dylan Enwiller’s RBI fielder’s choice and Aaron Sabato’s RBI single up the middles scored a pair of runs for the Tar Heels in the fifth pulling within five, 8-3.

Both teams traded runs in the seventh making it a 9-4 contest. Hoover’s RBI single scored Bryson Worrell, while Sabato hit a solo shot off of Lanier. UNC scored one more in the ninth on Freeman’s base hit back up the middle plating Michael Busch, but Voliva struck out Harris with the bases loaded sealing the win for the Pirates.

ECU pounded out 11 hits on the night and improved to 24-1 when reaching double-digit base hits. Seven Pirates registered at least one hit with Packard leading the way going 3-for-5. Hoover and Washer tallied two hits each, while Washer led a trio of Pirates with multiple RBI with his four. Brown and Burleson both plated a pair of runs.

Sabato (three) and Freeman (two) recorded multiple hits for the Tar Heels, while Sabato drove in a team-best two runs.

ECU will continue its seven-game road trip this weekend when it travels to Wichita State for an American Athletic Conference series. First pitch of the three-game set is slated for Friday, May 10 with a 7 p.m. (ET) first pitch.