Pirates Top Scarlet Knights, 6-3
March 19, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. -East Carolina scored four runs in the second inning and Mike Wright tossed 5.2 innings in his fifth start as the Pirates (15-4) took game two of the three-game non-conference series from Rutgers (7-10) 6-3 Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
On the heels of a dramatic extra inning win Friday night, the Pirates bats were hot early putting up four runs on five hits in the second stanza to take a 4-0 lead. Wooten reached on an infield single, Zach Wright followed with a double to left and Chris Gosik, Friday night's hero, singled through the right side scoring Wooten. Ben Fultz walked to load the bases and true freshman Jonathan Holt, who made his first collegiate start, singled to left pushing across Wright for the second run. Trent Whitehead's sac fly to center plated Fultz and Jack Reinheimer collected his team-best fourth game-winning RBI with another single to left scoring Holt.
Mike Wright (4-0) picked up the win allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts. The 6-foot-5 right-hander has allowed eight runs (six earned) in 30.0 innings of work on the year and sports an impressive 1.80 ERA. Brad Mincey spelled Wright in the sixth and tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to extend his streak to 21.0 innings with out allowing a run out of the bullpen. Jake Harris had another solid outing in relief striking out three in 1.1 innings and senior Seth Simmons became the school's all-time saves leader (24) retiring the final two batters of the game for his fourth save of the season.
Rob Smorol (1-3) suffered his second loss of the season to the Pirates allowing four runs (all earned) on seven hits in 6.1 innings. Last week he found himself on the backside of a 5-0 ECU shutout during the Eighth Annual Keith LeClair Classic. Joe Esposito was touched for a pair of runs in one inning of relief, while Rob Corsi allowed one hit in two-thirds of an inning.
Rutgers cut the Pirates lead to three, 4-1, in the third when Brian O'Grady scored on an ECU pick off. Mike Wright had Michael Lang picked off at first, but during the attempted run down, O'Grady crossed home and Lang slid back into first safely for their first run of the afternoon.
Steve Nyisztor pulled the Scarlet Knights within two, 4-2, when stroked his second home run of the season to lead off the sixth inning.
ECU pulled away in the eighth Fultz drew a bases loaded walk scoring Wooten and Philip Clark laced a RBI single to right scoring Zach Wright for a 6-2 advantage. Rutgers scored a run in the top of the ninth on Lang's single up the middle that pushed across Nick Favatella capping the scoring at 6-3.
The Pirates and Scarlet Knights will wrap up the series Sunday afternoon with a 12 noon first pitch scheduled. Junior left-hander Kevin Brandt will get the nod for ECU, while righty Nathaniel Rowe toes the rubber for Rutgers.