Wright's Five RBI Lifts ECU, 7-4
March 1, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Zach Wright hit his first home run of the season, a grand slam, and drove in five runs lifting East Carolina (5-2) to a 7-4 win over in-state foe Campbell (6-3) Tuesday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Wright, who was batting just below the Mendoza line, was 2-for-4 on the night with five RBI and two runs scored raising his batting average to .240. His grand slam in the third frame was the fourth of his career tying former Pirate Brandon Henderson with the most since the 2002 campaign.
With the scored knotted at two in the third, Corey Thompson stroked a single through the right side shortly before Chase McDonald drew a one out walk. Chris Gosik moved Thompson over to third on a fly out to right field and Philip Clark loaded the bases on another walk setting up Wright's towering shot to left center off Matt Marksberry.
Shawn Armstrong (1-0) picked up the win in his first start of the season where he allowed three runs (all earned) on four hits with four punch outs in a career-best six innings. After giving up two runs in the first frame, Armstrong retired the next 13 batters until Jimmy Brenneman doubled with one out in the sixth. Kevin Brandt (0.2 IP, 2 H, R) and Joseph Hughes (1.1 IP, H, K) bridged the gap to sophomore Jake Harris who notched his first career save tossing a scoreless ninth with one strikeout.
Marksberry (0-1) was touched for six runs (all earned) on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts in three innings of work suffering his first loss of the year. Right-hander Jake Smith kept the Pirates offense in check for three innings issuing just three hits before lefty Colin Parker pitched the final two frames allowing one runs on two hits with five walks and three punch outs.
The Camels plated a pair of runs in the first taking an early 2-0 lead. Brenneman reached after being plunked by Armstrong, and then moved to third on the first of three singles off the bat of Ellis Lowe. Both runners moved up 90 feet when Armstrong dropped the ball while on the rubber, resulting in a balk. Alan Denman pushed across Brenneman and advanced Lowe to third on a ground out to second. Tyler Hutchinson followed with a pop fly just behind third base that was lost in the sun for a single scoring Lowe.
In the bottom of the second, the Pirates pushed across a couple of runs to tie the game at two. Wright laced an RBI double down the left field line scoring Clark, who walked to start the inning and moved into scoring position on a Marksberry failed pick off attempt. Tim Younger laid down his fourth sac bunt of the year moving Wright to third and Mike Ussery drove him in on a sac fly to right field.
Campbell scored runs in the sixth and seventh cutting ECU's lead to two, 6-4, before John Wooten's bases loaded walk in the eighth capped the scoring at 7-4.
ECU will be back in action this weekend when they play host to Pepperdine starting Friday, Mar. 4 at 5 p.m. Saturday's game is schedule for 2 p.m., while Sunday's contest starts at 12 noon.