ECU Takes Series With Another Comeback, 5-4

UABSPORTS.COM Freshman Jonathan Holt scored the game winning run in the ninth.
Freshman Jonathan Holt scored the game winning run in the ninth.

May 8, 2011

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Freshman Jonathan Holt delivered one-out pinch hit single up the middle to score Joshua Lovick to tie the game in the ninth and then scored the game-winning run on a suicide squeeze by Philip Clark to complete the comeback as East Carolina (30-17, 11-10) took the Conference USA series from Marshall (18-26, 5-13) 5-4 at Appalachian Power Park Sunday afternoon.

Trailing 4-3 going to the ninth, Chase McDonald single up the middle to start the frame and then was lifted for Lovick as a pinch runner. Jack Reinheimer moved Lovick over to second on a sac bunt and Holt laced a shot up the middle, his fifth pinch hit single of the season, scoring Lovick to tie the game at four. Holt stole second to move into scoring position and then landed on third thanks to a Josh King wild pitch before crossing home for the game-winning run on Clark's bunt to third base.

Shawn Armstrong (3-1) picked up the win in relief working four shutout innings where he struck out seven batters and allowed one hit over four innings. Starter Seth Maness went five innings allowing four runs (all earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts.

King suffered the loss falling to 2-3 on the year after allowing both runs in the ninth on three hits. Arik Sikula was impressive in his outing striking out a career-high 12 batters in 7.1 innings where he allowed three runs (all earned) on six hits,

Nathan Gomez put Marshall up 1-0 early in the second with a solo home run on a first pitch offering to right field.

ECU answered Marshall in the top of the third on Clark's RBI single that scored Reinheimer, who reached on a fielder's choice then took second on Mike Ussery's single before scoring from second to tie the game at one.

An infield single by Isaac Ballou in the third put Marshall up 2-1. Thor Meeks and James Lavinskas recorded back-to-back singles to start the frame before Kenny Socorro moved them up 90 feet on a sac but setting up the go ahead run.

Marshall extended its lead to 3-1 in the fourth on Gray Stafford's single to left that scored Victor Gomez from second base. Gomez singled up the middle with one out and took second on a Maness balk before coming home on Stafford's base hit.

A pair of doubles in the fifth inning by Meeks and Victor Ramos pushed Marshall's lead to 4-1. Meeks doubled to left field and with one out Ramos stroked another two-bagger scoring Meeks.

Responding to Marshall's run in the fifth, ECU scored one in the top of the sixth cutting the lead to two, 4-2, on Ben Fultz' double down the right field line. Trent Whitehead doubled to right center with one out and Fultz followed with another plating Whitehead.

The Pirates cut the lead to one, 4-3, in the eighth on Fultz' second RBI base hit of the game. Thompson reached on an infield single to extend his hitting streak to 12 games then took second on Whitehead's blooper to left field. Fultz drove a 1-2 pitch to right field scoring Thompson to pull within one.

ECU pounded out 10 hits in the game with Fultz, McDonald and Whitehead each collecting a pair of base knocks. Clark and Fultz each had two RBI, while five different Pirates scored runs.

The Pirates will be back in action on Wednesday, May 11 when they play host to Wake Forest at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C. with a 7 p.m. (EDT) first pitch scheduled.