USF knocks off No. 7 ECU 13-1 to even series
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Peter Strzelecki allowed tossed his second complete game of the season, while Coco Montes hit a pair of home runs and drove in five helping USF to a 13-1 American Athletic Conference win over No. 7 ECU Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Bulls improve to 22-13 on the season (6-5 AAC) and the Pirates fall to 26-8 (5-3).
How It Happened:
USF jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first frame. Joe Genord singled to right with runners on first and second easily plating Coco Montes for the game’s first run. Chris Chatfield’s RBI ground out scored David Villar and the final run came when JD Dutka reached on an infield single to short, coupled with a throwing error by Brown. Brown put the Pirates on the board in the third smacking his second home run of the season, a solo shot to right-center, after an 11-pitch at-bat. From that point on, it was all USF as they scored two runs in the seventh (Joe Genord two-run HR), two in the eighth (Montes two-run HR) and six in the ninth (Montes three-run HR) for a 13-1 win forcing a rubber-match Sunday morning.
“We have two good teams going at it this weekend. We knew they we would respond after last night. Strzelecki had a tremendous performance for them and we knew it would be tough facing him. I think he is their best pitcher in terms of going out there and knowing what he is doing in attacking hitters the way he wants to. It’s tough once you get down three, but once we got down more than three it was going to be hard to try and manufacture runs.”
Tyler Smith (5-1) took the loss allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with a pair of strikeouts. ECU used six arms out of the bullpen getting outings from Alec Burleson (3.1 IP, 2 Hs, 1 R, 2 BBs, 2 Ks), Gavin Williams (0.2 IP, 2 Hs, 1 R), Sam Lanier (0.2 IP, 2 Hs, 2 Rs, 1 K), Jake Kuchmaner (0.1 IP), Willy Strong (o.2 IP, 1 H, 4 Rs, 3 BBs, 1 K) and West Covington (0.1 IP, 2 Hs, 2 Rs).
Strzelecki (6-2) got the win allowing just one run (earned) on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts. He retired the Pirates in order four times including striking out the side in the second frame.
A night after recording a team-high season-high 15 runs on 17 hits (tied season-high), the Pirates managed just five hits off Strzelecki. Brown belted his second home run of the season in the third inning for ECU’s lone run of the contest. Nick Barber, Spencer Brickhouse, Andrew Henrickson and Bryant Packard each recorded base knocks on the day.
Things To Know:
Packard extended his on-base streak to a career-best 17 games with a walk in the first inning …
Brown hit the Pirates fifth home run of the series sending a full-count offering over the right-center field wall in the third …
Henrickson extended his hit streak to a career-high eight games with an infield single in the fourth …
The Pirates are now 17-12 all-time against the Bulls …
ECU and USF will close out the weekend series on Sunday, April 15 with an 11 a.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.