Last Saturday's tie with Houston left the Pirate faithful with a sour taste in its mouth. Following the draw - a contest marked by a severe lack of drama - No. 24 East Carolina returned to the diamond Tuesday night and enjoyed one of its more dramatic victories in recent memory.
John Wooten plated Tim Younger with a go-ahead sacrifice fly to center field in the top of the tenth inning to give East Carolina a 3-2 triumph over Elon at Latham Park.
But it wasn't your typical 10th inning tilt. Here's more insight into the first of back-to-back midweek clashes for the Purple and Gold...
Game News and Notes
- ECU put its leadoff runner on base in each of the first eight frames. In the first, second and fifth stanzas, the Pirates placed the first two batters on first and second base, failing to produce a run until the top of the ninth. Elon turned four double plays - its highest mark since tallying the same mark in a 2009 contest against UNC Greensboro.
- Of course, in the top of the ninth, after Darnell Johnson had retired Wooten and Cannon to begin the inning, Zach Wright drew a leadoff walk before advancing to third on a well-executed hit-and-run in which Bryan Bass served a single to left, putting runners at the corners with two outs. Jack Reinheimer then greeted Johnson - they were high school teammates at Charlotte's Ardrey Kell - with a two-out, two-run double to left-center to break the scoreless tie.
- Elon responded with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the ninth off Pirate closer Drew Reynolds. After reaching on a leadoff single, Alex Swim came around to score as Joey Tomko's blooper to center was dropped by Ben Fultz after the sophomore center fielder collided with second baseman Younger. Now trailing 2-1, Garett Koster extended the rally with a single to right, which put runners on the corners with two outs for the Phoenix. Elon executed a double steal to tie the game at two apiece. The potential game-winning run was eventually thrown out at home plate after an infield single was knocked down by Younger, who fired home to get the runner trying to score from second.
- Elon's ninth-inning dramatics spoiled a fantastic outing by ECU freshman right-hander Jeff Hoffman. The Latham, N.Y., native twirled a gem in eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits while issuing one free pass and striking out a career-high 10 batters. Drew Reynolds earned the win for the Pirates, tossing the final two frames.
Wednesday's Probable Starters
- After claiming a 10-4 decision over Old Dominion in the fourth game of the Pirates' 2012 campaign, ECU welcomes the Monarchs to Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium for its second midweek tilt in as many days.
- Deshorn Lake (0-1, 6.75 ERA) will make his first career start for East Carolina while ODU will counter with Greg Tomchick (0-2, 6.41 ERA).
Check out the '10th Inning' following Wednesday's contest for extended coverage of the Pirates' matchup with their former Colonial Athletic Association foe and a quick glimpse into this weekend's showdown on the road at Memphis.