No. 24 East Carolina hit the road last weekend for a three-game set with Memphis. After claiming a 5-2 victory in Friday night's contest, the Pirates dropped a decision on Saturday afternoon, 5-2.
The Pirates responded on Sunday by scoring 14 runs behind a solid effort from starter Jharel Cotton (6-0) as ECU seized its third consecutive Conference USA series win.
Here's more insight into the weekend set...
Saturday: Memphis 5, East Carolina 2
- Tucker Tubbs and Derrick Thomas each belted a home run in the Memphis victory. The game was tied, 2-2, heading into the bottom of the sixth, before the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out. Thomas lifted a shot off the wall in left field, scoring one run, and U of M took a 3-2 advantage. Andy Smithmyer relieved starter Tyler Joyner (5-1) and limited further damage to just one run on a sacrifice fly. Memphis tacked on another run late in the game to cap scoring, seizing a 5-2 victory and forcing a rubber match on Sunday.
- Jack Reinheimer, Tim Younger and Zach Wright each had multi-hit performances for the Pirates. Reinheimer and Younger each recorded run-scoring singles in the Pirates' two-run fifth, the only frame in which ECU scored all day.
- Reigning NCBWA Pitcher-of-the-Week Sam Moll (4-3) recorded the win after allowing just two runs in 7 1/3 innings while scattering nine hits and striking out four.
Sunday: East Carolina 14, Memphis 7
- ECU held a 6-2 lead heading into the sixth stanza in Sunday afternoon's rubber match and quickly put the game out-of-reach by plating six runs in the frame. The first eight Pirates reached base via a hit or walk and the offensive explosion was highlighted by John Wooten's mammoth three-run blast over the wall in left, which gave the junior infielder/outfielder a career-high five RBI. Wooten also matched his personal-best by recording five hits. He now leads ECU with seven home runs.
- The Pirates notched 17 base knocks on the afternoon, led by Wooten's four. Corey Thompson and Zach Wright each added a trio of hits while Drew Reynolds and Tim Younger had a pair of hits.
- Jharel Cotton pushed his record to 6-0 on the year, allowing five runs over six innings of work. He yielded six hits and walked a pair while recording six strikeouts. Tanner Merritt continued his stellar performance on the mound, picking up his seventh save of the season while allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits in three innings of work.
- Jay Cannon and Wright each collected two RBI, which combined with Wooten's five, accounted for nine of the 14 total runs the Pirates scored on the day.
- With the win, ECU has not dropped a Conference USA series since its opening set with UCF on the first weekend of league play in Orlando. The Pirates will be tested yet again this weekend, as they travel to Houston for a three-game showdown with perennial powerhouse Rice.
- ECU will play host to a pair of midweek opponents before making the trek to visit the Owls as it hosts UNC Wilmington and William & Mary on Tuesday and Wednesday night, respectively, at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Check out the '10th Inning' tomorrow as we provide a preview of the second meeting of the season between East Carolina and UNCW. Tuesday posts will also include a recap of the non-conference game as well as insight into the William & Mary game on Wednesday.