John Wooten belted a go-ahead, two-run home run in the sixth inning and East Carolina tacked on four insurance runs in the ninth as it defeated Old Dominion 10-4 in the 2012 road opener.
With the game knotted at four, Wooten delivered the decisive blow on an 0-1 offering from ODU's Erick Baker. The blast gave ECU a 6-4 advantage, a lead it would not relinquish.
The Pirates move to 4-0 for the first time since the 2009 campaign.
Here's more insight into Wednesday's victory...
-Corey Thompson and Jack Reinheimer also clubbed homers in the win. Thompson went deep in the top of the first, staking the Pirates to a 1-0 lead. Trailing 3-2 in the fifth frame, Reinheimer blasted a two-run shot over the wall in left field to give ECU a 4-3 lead.
-Only four games into the season, ECU has hit eight home runs. The Pirates recorded just 37 round-trippers in 62 games in 2011.
-Thompson's first-inning shot to the opposite field was the first of the season for the senior third baseman. Reinheimer continued his recent power display after knocking the first pitch he saw in 2012 over the fence against Milwaukee. Wooten has two homers in as many games- both extended his current 11-game hitting streak.
-Junior college transfer Andy Smithmyer and right-hander D.J. Jauss experienced their first action in an East Carolina uniform.
-Smithmyer earned the victory after relieving starter Joseph Hughes in the fourth inning. The diminutive junior tossed three innings, gave up one run (earned) on four hits and struck out four. He was the pitcher on record at the time of Wooten's heroics.
-Jauss hurled a scoreless ninth despite issuing a pair of walks. He struck out two Monarch batters and preserved the 10-4 victory.
Younger Off to Blistering Start
-After a 6-for-9 weekend at the plate against Milwaukee, Tim Younger continued to impress offensively. He collected two hits (single, double) in the win over ODU. The honorary recipient of the No. 23 jersey also drove in a run with a ground out in the third. It was the senior's third multi-hit game of the season. Younger also added several key defensive plays at second base, including a pair of dazzling stops in ODU's half of the third.
Earning His Merit
-Sophomore Tanner Merritt entered the contest in the seventh with ECU clinging to a two-run advantage. He worked around a pair of walks in two scoreless innings earning the Game Ball from head coach Billy Godwin.
-Merritt struck out three batters. Thus far in 2012, The Greenville native has pitched 3 1/3 innings without giving up a run and has five punchouts. He struck out a total of five batters in 2011 (six appearances, eight innings).
-Thompson enjoyed another solid performance. The Preseason First-Team All-Conference USA performer finished the day 2-for-4 with a home run and a pair of RBIs. He also scored two runs.
-The Pirates recorded five extra-base hits before their first single of the afternoon - a Jack Reinheimer infield knock. ECU added five singles in the four-run ninth.
On Deck: 9th Annual Keith LeClair Classic (Feb. 24-26)
Friday - Maryland vs. Western Carolina (1 p.m.); East Carolina vs. Purdue (5 p.m.)
Saturday - Purdue vs. Maryland (11 a.m.); East Carolina vs. Western Carolina (3 p.m.)
Sunday - Western Carolina vs. Purdue (10 a.m.); East Carolina vs. Maryland (2 p.m.)
Check out the '10th Inning' this weekend for extensive coverage of the LeClair Classic.