No. 25 East Carolina (15-4) scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth and held off Wolfpack rallies in the seventh and ninth innings to claim a 6-4 victory over one of the nation's hottest clubs in No. 11 N.C. State.
Jeff Hoffman recorded his first career start on the mound as a collegiate and overcame three runs in the second by The Pack (15-4) to notch a solid debut on the bump. He lasted five innings allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits.
Here's more insight into the Pirates' dramatic one-run victory over their in-state rival...
Game News and Notes
- N.C. State third baseman Trea Turner was two-for-two on stolen base attempts. The pair of swipes gives him 21 for the year, a mark which is tops in the nation.
- East Carolina fell behind in the second stanza, 3-0, after the Wolfpack posted three runs on four consecutive base hits to start the inning. Danny Canela doubled to left before Chris Diaz drove him in with an RBI single. Ryan Mathews followed with a towering blast to left plating a pair and giving State and starter Ryan Wilkins a three-run cushion.
- The Pirates responded with a trio of runs in the bottom-half of the third to knot the score. John Wooten delivered a run-scoring single with two outs before Drew Reynolds extended his hitting streak to eight games with a two-run double to right-center. During the streak, the sophomore utilityman is batting .500 (14-for-28) with a home run, four doubles and five RBIs during the streak.
- ECU grabbed a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Ben Fultz came all the way from second to score on an infield single by Philip Clark - Clark has recorded a knock in each of his last eight games as well. N.C. State second baseman Matt Bergquist fielded the chopper behind the bag up the middle and fired home to Cantela, but the throw short-hopped the catcher and Fultz made an aggressive slide to ensure the run and put the Purple and Gold ahead by one.
- The Wolfpack tied the game, 4-4, with an unearned run off Hoffman in the fifth. The lanky right-hander retired eight straight spanning back to the final two outs of the second through the end of the fourth before allowing a run to cross in the fifth - his last inning of work.
- Andy Smithmyer (2-0) was spectacular in relief of Hoffman. The junior college transfer pitched three shutout frames while yielding just one hit and one walk while striking out five. He earned the second win of his Pirate career.
- East Carolina took the lead for good with a pair of runs in the sixth. Tim Younger led off the inning with a two-bagger down the right-field line and later moved to third on a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt from Reinheimer, who took first after The Pack unsuccessfully tried to retire his fellow middle infielder at third. Philip Clark laced the first pitch he saw from D.J. Thomas to right field scoring Younger and giving ECU a 5-4 lead. Reinheimer eventually crossed home via a wild pitch.
- Turner and Brett Austin reached safely to start the seventh, but were left stranded in scoring position after Smithmyer struck out two batters - including N.C. State's No. 3 and No. 4 hitters - and induced a harmless grounder to Younger at second, who made the play and fired to Wooten for the out. In the eighth, Smithmyer once again protected the two-run edge by promptly striking out the side before handing the ball over to the closer, Reynolds.
- Reynolds retired pinch-hitter Carlos Rodon on a groundout to begin the ninth, but once again Turner and Austin got on-base for the Wolfpack. Ciencin followed with a high chopper to Reinheimer at short, who flipped to Younger for the 6-4 force out. The honorary recipient of the No. 23 jersey tried to turn the double play, but his throw got away from John Wooten at first allowing Turner to score and trim the ECU lead to one, 5-4. Reynolds buckled down with the go-ahead run at the plate in the form of Cantela and forced a flyout to Jay Cannon deep in left-center for the game's final out.
- The victory is the first over a team ranked as high as No. 11 since ECU's triumph over No. 10 Virginia last year on opening weekend versus the Cavaliers.
- Jay Cannon's eight-game hitting streak was snapped in the 6-5 victory as the junior outfielder finished the tilt without a knock in four at-bats.
- Clark and Reynolds each had two-hit, two-RBI performances while sophomores Reinheimer and Ben Fultz also recorded a pair of singles. Reinheimer also added two sacrifice bunts and drew a walk. The latter pair was responsible for four of the Pirates' six runs.
- ECU is now 11-2 in games decided by three runs or less thus far in 2012.
- East Carolina looks to continue its winning ways on Wednesday with a road contest against High Point. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET) at Williard Stadium.
Check out the '10th Inning' Wednesday morning for a preview of the midweek, non-conference matchup with the Panthers as the Pirates seek their 16th win of the young season.