Jay Cannon clubbed a walk-off solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give East Carolina a 5-4 victory over Penn State Friday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
After East Carolina posted a pair of runs in both the second and third innings to grab a 4-0 advantage, Penn State rallied and eventually tied the score in the top of the ninth as Montesinos crossed home after a wild pitch by Drew Reynolds.
Here's more insight into the dramatic series opener...
Game News and Notes
- The Pirates (12-4) opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. Wooten singled through the left side to begin the frame. After stealing second, the junior second baseman came around to score on a Zach Wright RBI single. Wright later scored after Jay Cannon singled and Penn State made a throwing error.
- ECU extended its lead to four in the third. Thompson ignited the rally with a single to left and moved to second following another single by Wooten. McDonald singled to right scoring Thompson and Wright drove in his second RBI of the evening with a sacrifice fly to center field.
- Penn State (3-12) cut into the lead in the fourth with two runs of its own. The Nittany Lions began the inning with four consecutive hits (two doubles) to trim the deficit to 4-2. They still threatened with runners on the corners and no outs in the inning. ECU lefty Kevin Brandt picked off Montesinos at first for the first out. He followed by striking out the next two batters to maintain the two-run edge.
- PSU added another run in the sixth after Aaron Novak doubled home Joey DeBernardis. ECU held a 4-3 lead until the bottom of the ninth.
- In the final frame, Montesinos led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Searer. After pinch-hitter grounded out to Younger for the second out, Montesinos scored on a wild pitch while Coban was at the dish to knot the score at four.
- In the bottom half, Wright flied out to center and Reynolds grounded out to short leaving the Pirates with two outs and nobody on. Cannon stepped into the box and deposited a 2-1 offering from Penn State starter Joe Kurrasch over the wall in right field to give the Pirates an instant victory. The last walk-off long ball for the Pirates came on Mar. 26, 2011 when Wright delivered a two-run shot to beat Memphis 5-3.
What You Might Have Missed
- Wooten led the Pirates at the plate by recording a three-hit performance. Cannon was the only other roster member to record a multi-knock night as he finished 2-for-4. The junior outfielder raised his average to .341.
- East Carolina collected 10 hits on the evening. The first nine were all singles until Cannon's walk-off blast.
- Kevin Brandt notched his fifth quality start in as many starts allowing three runs (earned) on eight hits in six innings of work. He walked two, struck out four and did not factor in the decision. The senior southpaw moved into 10th on ECU's all-time innings pitched list (285.0), passing Lyle Hartgrove, who threw 282.1 frames from 1991-94.
- Kurrasch had an impressive night on the mound for the Nittany Lions in a complete-game loss. After giving up four runs (three earned) through the first three innings, he allowed just two hits in the final 5 2/3 stanzas.
- ECU freshman reliever Jeff Hoffman retired the first four batters he faced after entering the game in the seventh. Dating back to the Louisville game in which he hurled four perfect innings to earn the save, he retired 16 consecutive hitters before walking DeBernardis on four straight pitches with one out in the eighth. Reynolds came on for Hoffman and threw 1 2/3 innings allowing one run (earned) on one hit, earning the win for the Purple and Gold.
Saturday Probable Starters
- Tyler Joyner (ECU) 3-0, 1.12 ERA vs. John Walter (PSU) 0-3, 5.40 ERA ... First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Check out the '10th Inning' after Saturday's contest as the Pirates look to grab a series victory over the Nittany Lions. If you can't make it out the Clark-LeClair for the contest, listen to 1070 AM IMG Pirate Sports Network as Darren Headrick and Dr. Gary Overton bring you the call.