GREENVILLE, N.C. – Luke Borders smacked his second home run of the series, a three-run shot in the ninth, lifting USF to a 5-1 victory over No. 21 ECU Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium in American Athletic Conference action. With the win the Bulls improve to 22-28 overall and 7-13 in league play, while the Pirates fall to 31-18-1 and 12-7-1.
Brandon Lawson (5-4) picked up the win allowing one run (earned) on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts over eight full innings of work. Tommy Eveld preserved the win tossing a scoreless ninth were he gave up a pair of hits.
Jimmy Boyd (6-4) took the hard-luck loss surrendering three runs (all earned) on four hits with no walks and four punch-outs in 8.1 innings. For Boyd it was his second-longest outing of the season and seventh quality start. Joe Ingle was touched for a pair of runs (both earned) on three hits in one-third of an inning and Evan Voliva allowed a walk in one-third of a frame.
USF tallied seven hits getting one from seven different batters. Border collected a game-high three RBI, while Joe Genord and Garrett Zech each added one.
ECU recorded just five hits after tallying a season-high 17 Friday night. Turner Brown was 2-for-4 with a home run, while Bryce Harman, Eric Tyler and Charlie Yorgen chipped in with one apiece.
How It Happened:
With the game tied at one-all heading to the top of the ninth, USF scored four runs with one out which was highlighted by Borders fifth home run of the season. Zech and Luke Maglich each reached base after being hit by a Boyd pitch before Ingle came on in relief. On a 3-2 offering by Ingle, Borders deposited the fastball over the right field wall for a 4-1 lead. Two batters later, Duke Stunkel doubled to center and came around on Genord’s single to left making it a four run game, 5-1.
Both teams were scoreless through five innings before the Bulls plated the games for run. Kevin Merrell singled with two outs and came around to score on Zech’s double to center for a 1-0 advantage.
ECU tied the game at one-all in the home-half of the seventh when Brown belted a solo home run to right field off Lawson.
ECU and USF will play the rubber-match of the three-game series on Sunday, May 15 with an 11 a.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.
-per ECU Athletics