No. 30 ECU Rallies Past UAB In Series Opener, 11-6
March 31, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. -No. 30 East Carolina (17-8, 2-2 C-USA) erased a 5-0 deficit and exploded for nine runs over the final three frames walking away with an 11-6 victory Friday night over UAB (17-10, 2-2 C-USA) at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Trailing 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth, John Wooten and Cannon laced back-to-back singles to begin the stanza and advanced into scoring position following a sacrifice bunt by Zach Wright. Bryan Bass and Younger each produced run-scoring hits to trim UAB's lead to two. Bass eventually scored on Jack Reinheimer's sacrifice fly to right field capping the frame at 6-5.
The Pirates grabbed the lead in the bottom of the seventh with Younger's two-run single up the middle, which scored Cannon and Wright. Cannon ripped a one-out single, Wright drew a walk, and the runners moved to second and third on Bass' groundout to second base before Younger's game-winning base hit.
East Carolina padded its lead with four runs in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by Wooten's two-run home run off the right field foul pole. Wright added an RBI single and Younger drove in his fourth run of the contest with a sac fly to right field to cap the scoring.
Wooten and Philip Clark joined Younger and Cannon as the only Pirates to record multi-hit performances. Wooten extended his current hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the sixth.
Freshman right-hander Dylan Dickens (1-0) earned the win for the Pirates after tossing four innings of scoreless relief, yielding just three hits while striking out a pair of Blazers. Tanner Merritt earned the save after throwing 1 2/3 frames of perfect relief, striking out three on the way to picking up his fourth save of the season.
Dylan Munger (2-3) suffered the loss for UAB as he hurled 1 2/3 stanzas where he allowed six runs on six hits and walked three.
Pirate starter Kevin Brandt had his shortest outing of the year, lasting just three innings while surrendering five runs (four earned) on eight hits. The senior southpaw walked two and struck out a pair before being lifted before the fourth for Dario Santangelo, who pitched one-third of an inning, giving up one run on two hits and walking one.
UAB raced out to an early 1-0 lead in the first behind John Frost's RBI single. The base knock drove in Ivan De Jesus, who led off the contest with a triple off the fence in right.
The Blazers padded their lead in the third with four runs. The inning was highlighted by Frost's solo shot over the wall in center.
Dillon Napoleon pitched into the sixth for the visitors, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits while striking out a trio of Pirate batters. Chase Mallard worked around two hits to retire ECU in the sixth. Chase Davis relieved Munger in the ninth and retired the only two hitters he faced.
The series will resume Saturday at 2 p.m. (EST) as junior lefty Tyler Joyner (3-0, 3.09 ERA) squares off against UAB's Ben Bullard (2-2, 2.34 ERA).