Junior Devin Harris
March 20, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Monmouth scored six runs in the sixth inning and held off a late rally by No. 16 East Carolina to take game one of the three-game series 11-9 Friday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Hawks improve to 3-4 while the Pirates fall to 9-8.
Trailing 11-6 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, ECU scored three runs to cut the Hawks lead to two, 11-9. Corey Thompson led off with his second hit of the night lacing a single up the middle. After Zach Wright flied out to center and Devin Harris struck out, Cam Freeman scorched a single down the left field line putting runners at the corners before he stole second on Jared Avchen's at-bat. With a full count, Avchen sent a high fly ball to left field for his second home run of the evening pulling the Pirates within two.
Trent Whitehead drew a two-out walk, Dustin Harrington singled through the left side and Kyle Roller reached on his second free pass of the night loading the bases for freshman John Wooten, who flew out to left field to end the game.
In the eighth frame ECU's Devin Harris blasted the first pitch he saw from Dan Smith to left field pulling the Pirates within four, 9-5. Avchen doubled down the right field line to put himself in scoring position with one away before Roller recorded his first hit of the game, a single to right, scoring Avchen to shorten the Hawks lead to three, 9-6.
Nick Meyers (2-0) recorded his second win of the season surrendering three runs on six hits in five innings of work with five strikeouts and four walks. Neil Harm picked up his first save of the year allowing two runners to reach base before recording the final out. Smith gave up four runs (all earned) on five hits with two walks in three innings and Nick McNamara was touched for two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Pirate starter Kevin Brandt (1-2) lasted 5.1 innings fanning a game-best seven hitters while giving up four runs (all earned) on five hits before being lifted for Sthil Sowers, who allowed five runs (all earned) in two innings, while Shawn Armstrong gave up two runs in 1.2 frames.
Brant gave up a leadoff home run to Jamie Rosenkranz to tie the game at three shortly before Danny Avella reached on a free pass. Avella took second on a passed ball and landed on third from a sac bunt Bobby Dombrowski. After a Pirate pitching change brought Sowers to the bump, the right-hander from Hugo, N.C. fanned Kyle O'Neill for the second out of the frame then saw a first pitch offering to Josh Boyd comeback up the middle scoring Avella for a 4-3 lead. The Hawks added five more runs to take a commanding 8-3 lead.
Avchen connected for his first home run of the season in the bottom half of the sixth reducing the lead to four, 8-4.
Monmouth took an early 2-0 lead in the second thanks to three doubles in the frame. Rosenkranz laced a shot to right field and advanced to third when Alleva flied out to center. After Dombrowski grounded out to Brandt, Mike Casale followed with an RBI double to left scoring Rosenkranz. O'Neill pushed across Casale on a double down the right field line.
The Pirates answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning taking a 3-2 lead. Thompson doubled with one out and scored on Wright's double to center before Harris cleared the bases with his third home run of season.
ECU and Monmouth will continue the series Saturday afternoon with a first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.