Pirates Take LeClair Classic Title
March 7, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. -Cam Freeman's two-run home run in the eighth inning coupled with a strong pitching performance from Seth Maness helped No. 11 East Carolina to a 5-4 win over in-state foe West Carolina Sunday afternoon in the Seventh Annual Keith LeClair Classic at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Maness (1-2), who was pitching on Sunday due to an ankle injury suffered last week against South Carolina, allowed two runs (both earned) on eight hits and struck out a season-best seven batters. After giving up two runs in the third, Maness retired nine of the next 10 hitters to record his first win of the season. Junior Seth Simmons notched his third save of the season working the final 1.2 frames where he allowed two runs on two hits to hold off a Catamount (8-2) late rally.
Vance Chavis (2-1) suffered his first loss of the year after allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits in 6.2 innings. The left-hander struck out five batters and walked two before being lifted for Andrew Chilcoat (0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R). Mat bats (0.1 IP) and Brandon Johnson (0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R) pitched the final inning of the contest.
Wright's sac fly to center scored Harris from third to give the Pirates an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. Harris laced a one-out double down the right field line then took third on a failed pickoff by Western's catcher before trotting home for the games first run.
The Catamounts answered with a pair of runs in the top half of the third to take a 2-1 lead. Consecutive one-out base knocks by Dylan de Graaf (single) and Austin Shultz (double) tied the game at one before Shultz touched home on Tyler White's RBI single to left.
Freeman smacked his second home run of the season in the eighth to extend ECU's lead to three, 5-2. Corey Thompson doubled to right field to start the frame and scored when Freeman hit a towering shot to left center with one out on a 0-1 offering.
The Catamounts plated a pair of runs in the ninth before Simmons got de Graaf to fly out to right field for the Pirates fifth straight win. Radley Haddad and Tyler Kirkpatrick drew consecutive walks before pinch hitter Cory Cronan laced a double to right field scoring Haddad and advancing Kirkpatrick to third, who would come home on Western's next at-bat, a sac fly to center from Trevor Collias.
ECU will be back in action next week when they travel to California for a midweek matchup with Cal State Northridge and a three-game series with Pepperdine.