ECU Falls To N.C. State 8-6

UABSPORTS.COM Senior Kyle Roller extended his current streak to 37-straight games reaching base safely.
Senior Kyle Roller extended his current streak to 37-straight games reaching base safely.

April 21, 2010

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N.C. State 8, ECU 6 (PDF) Get Acrobat Reader

GREENVILLE, N.C. -Chris Diaz' pinch-hit RBI single that scored John Gianis in the eighth inning proved to be the game winning run as N.C. State limped out of town with an 8-6 win over No. 21 East Carolina Wednesday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Wolfpack improve to 26-13, while the Pirates fall to 24-14 after dropping their second-straight game.

The two teams combined for 12 errors, six apiece, and eight unearned runs as the Wolfpack won their eighth game in the last 12 meeting between the two schools.

Trailing 4-2 in the sixth inning, N.C. State scored two runs in the seventh and three in the eight to complete its come from behind victory.

With the game tied at five entering the eight frame, N.C. State pushed across three runs on four hits with one Pirate error to take an 8-5 lead. Chris Schaeffer doubled with one out and came home on Gianis' double down the left field line that was misplayed by Zach Wright, allowing Gianis to end up on third. Diaz plated Gianis on a bloop single just out of reach of Cam Freeman at second base and Drew Poulk's RBI double through the right side scored Diaz for the Wolfpack's final run of the game.

ECU tried to crawl back into the contest scoring a run in the bottom half of the inning, cutting the lead to 8-6. Wright and Freeman roped back-to-back singles before Jared Avchen reached on a fielder's choice, where Freeman was out at second and Wright came around to score on an error by Dallas Poulk while trying to turn a double play.

Mike Russo (2-0) picked up the win despite working one-third of an inning where he allowed a hit. Starter Felix Roque, who was on a pitch count, held the Pirates scoreless through three innings before being lifted for John Lambert. In all, N.C. State used five pitchers to bridge the gap between Russo and Grant Sasser, who closed the game for his second save of the season, working 1 2/3 frame allowing two hits, two walks and a strikeout.

Redshirt freshman Shawn Armstrong (0-2) suffered the loss after giving up three runs (all earned) on three hits in two-third of work. Pirate starter Brad Mincey had a quality outing going six full innings where he allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts. Jake Harris made his 10th appearance out of the bullpen working two-third's of a frame allowing a two-run homer by Pratt Maynard in the seventh. Mike Wright worked a scoreless 1 2/3 innings with three punch outs in his 14th appearance of the season.

The Wolfpack jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on Drew Paulk's RBI single. Dallas Paulk, the cousin of Drew, singled up the middle to start the frame. Maynard pushed him over to second on a ground out before he came rumbling home on Drew Paulk's single back up the middle.

Both teams scored a run in the fourth giving the Wolfpack a 2-1 advantage. Gianis' RBI single down the left field line scored Andrew Ciencin for N.C. State and Wright's sac fly to right field plated Austin Homan for ECU.

Avchen led off the bottom of the fifth and grounded to second, but was safe on a Dallas Poulk. Whitehead walked and Corey Thompson grounded to shortstop, but Matt Bergquist's throw to second was wide for the second error of the stanza, loading the bases for Kyle Roller with no outs. Vance Williams got Roller to line out to short, but John Wooten scored Whitehead on his ground out to second. Homan followed with a single up the middle, giving the Pirates a 4-2 lead.

Roller homered for the Pirates in the seventh tying the game at five. For Roller, it was his ninth homer of the season and 48th of his career, which moved him into sole possession of second place on the school's all-time home run chart.

Offensively ECU managed just eight hits with Freeman as the lone two-hit Pirate. Wooten extended his hit streak to eight games, while Devin Harris' streak reached seven games and Whitehead's went to six.

The Pirates will hit the road for a pivotal Conference USA series against Rice this weekend at Reckling Park with both teams sit atop the league standings. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, while Saturday's contest is at 3 p.m. and will be aired on CBS College Sports. The final game of series will take place Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.