March 15, 2006
WILMINGTON, N.C. - Senior Brody Taylor picked up his third win of the season Wednesday night as the Pirates defeated in-state rival UNC Wilmington 4-0 at Brooks Field in Wilmington, N.C.
The Pirates (13-6) drew first blood in the game when Jake Dean scored on a Harrison Eldridge fielder's choice in the top of the fourth inning to put ECU up 1-0. Dean led off the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third on Brandon Henderson's infield single.
The Pirate batters collected seven hits on the night and were led by Jake Smith's two singles and two RBI. For the season, Smith leads the team with a .333 batting average and has 27 RBI. Five other Pirates recorded hits highlighted by Adam Witter's solo shot in the top of the fifth.
For the Seahawks (14-5) Jeff Hatcher got the loss after pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief and allowing two runs on four hits. Starter Andrew Morgan lasted 2 2/3 innings allowing one hit, walking four and striking out one. UNCW also saw bullpen action from former Pirate hurler Brett Braxton (one inning), Thomas Brent (one inning) and Adam Paul (two innings).
Offensively the Seahawks had two players with a multi-hit game in Matt Poulk and Jonathan Batts each collecting two hits.
In the top of the fifth, the Pirates added to their lead when Witter took 1-2 count to dead center field, a solo shot, to put ECU up 2-0. For Witter it was his fifth of the season, tying Smith for the team lead.
ECU added their third run of the game in the top of the seventh inning when Smith flew out to left field to score Mollenhauer from the third. Mollenhauer led the inning off with a double to left center before advancing to third on a Benton wild pitch to make the game 3-0.
Smith drove in his second run of the night in the top of the ninth when he singled to right field to score Eldridge to third for the fourth run and final run of the game.
UNCW had a great chance to score in the bottom half of the third inning when Steve Halford reached first on a swinging third strike wild pitch by Taylor. Shane French advanced Halford to second after Dean fumbled a ground ball to put runners on first and second with no outs. Taylor, Mollenhauer and Dean all combined on the first out of the inning when Halford was picked off trying to steal third. Taylor then hunkered down striking out Daniel Hargrave and Chris Hatcher in back-to-back at bats to keep the game tied, 0-0.
The Pirates will be back in action Friday night March 17 when they host Marist inside Clark-LeClair Stadium at 7 p.m.