Junior Chase McDonald
May 17, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Bryan Bass and Chris Gosik recorded three hits each helping East Carolina (29-24, 13-10) to a 10-8 win over UCF (29-26, 13-10) on Senior Night to even the Conference USA series at one-game each Friday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
With the score tied at eight-all heading to the bottom of the seventh, ECU scratched across a run to take a 9-8 advantage and then added an insurance run in the eighth to stay alive in the Conference USA regular season title race.
Gosik drove in the game-winning run on his third base knock of the evening scoring Dylan Brown for a one-run lead in the seventh. Jay Cannon walked to start the frame and took second on Jack Reinheimer's sac bunt back to the mound. Brown entered the game as a pinch runner and came around to scored from second.
Chase McDonald gave the Pirates a two-run cushion in the eighth when he blasted his league leading 10th home run to right field capping the scoring a 10-8.
Brett Mabry (4-3) picked up the win in relief working 1.1 scoreless frames where he allowed two hits with a walk and strikeout. Drew Reynolds notched his 13th save of the season tossing a scoreless 1.1 innings with a strikeout. The right-hander entered the contest with two outs in the eighth striking out pinch hitter Jeramy Matos with a runner on second.
Pirate starter David Lucroy lasted just 1.2 frames after allowing five runs (all earned) on four hits with four walks and two punch-outs. Joseph Hughes tossed a season-high 3.1 innings surrendering two runs (one earned) on five hits with three strikeouts. Jake Harris also saw action in relief working 1.1 innings giving up a run on two hits.
Danny Davis (4-3) was saddled with the loss after giving up three runs (all earned) on five hits with two walks in two innings of relief. Chris Matulis was touched for six runs (five earned) on six hits in 4.2 innings with six strikeouts. Zac Favre faced a pair of batters recording one out and Spencer Davis gave up one run, McDonald's homer, in an inning of work.
UCF jumped out to an early lead, scoring five runs in the top of the second for a 5-0 lead. Lucroy struck out the first two Knights of the inning but was unable to retire the side, giving up five runs on three hits and issuing three walks before handing the ball off to Hughes. Bret Gordon (bases loaded walk), James Vasquez (single) and Parker Webster (single) were credited with RBI during the frame.
Cannon got ECU on the board in the bottom of the second with an RBI ground out to short that plated Ben Fultz, who laced his sixth career triple with one out in the stanza.
Vasquez pushed the Knights lead back to five, 6-1, in the third with an RBI single up the middle. Ryan Breen singled back up the middle with one out and moved into scoring position on Erik Hempe's sac bunt down the third base line.
The Pirates plated two runs in the bottom half of the inning pulling within three, 6-3. Gosik doubled down the left field line to get the frame going. Bass followed with a walk and Zach Houchins reached on an infield single, which extended his hit streak to 13 games, scoring Gosik. Bass would later score on a wild pitch during McDonald's at-bat.
ECU stayed quiet offensively until the bottom of the fifth when it knotted the game at six-all. Bass singled with one out and took second when a pitch plunked Reynolds. Both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch and Bass scored on Houchins' sac fly to center. McDonald followed with an RBI single to right plating Reynolds and Cannon singled home McDonald with a shot to center.
UCF regained the lead at 7-6 in the sixth when Vasquez scored on a wild pitch.
But ECU responded with two runs of its own in the bottom of the frame to take its first lead of the evening 8-7. Luke Lowery singled to start the inning and took second on a wild pitch. Gosik drove in his second run of the night with a base knock to left center. Bass followed with an infield single and moved into scoring position on Reynolds' sac bunt, where Gosik landed on third. Houchins loaded the bases with a walk and McDonald reached on a fielder's choice scoring Gosik.
Breen knotted the game at eight with an RBI double down the left field line scoring Erik Barber.
Offensively the Pirates pounded out 14 hits after being held to just four in game one of the series. Fultz and McDonald each had a pair of base knocks to go along with Bass and Gosik's three-hit night. Four players drove in multiple runs, while Bass scored a game-high three runs.
ECU will look for its sixth-straight league series win when they host UCF in the final game of the regular season for both schools. Game time has been moved up to a 10 a.m. (ET) start due to potential rain in the area later in the afternoon.