East Carolina Wins Game One Over Tulane 12-4
(13)East Carolina got their weekend off to a solid start with a 12-4 game one win over Tulane on Friday in Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Gavin Williams improved to 7-0 with the victory for the Pirates while Tulane starter Braden Olthoff did not have his best stuff and fell to 5-2 with the loss.
“I thought Gavin set the tone first. When you’re facing another ace then your ace has got to be good and Gavin was really good,” ECU head coach Cliff Godwin said, “The first five innings he was lights out, it was really tough. Even when he threw the ball to the wrong base and they called a balk on him, he was able to get out of that inning without giving up any runs.”
“Offensively our guys were locked in and when we’re locked in, we’re pretty good. Hopefully we’ll show up tomorrow and be locked in like we were today. I thought our guys really slowed the game down and executed at a high level against a very good pitcher.”
The Pirates got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second on a Seth Caddell grounder to third that allowed Zach Agnos to scamper home for the first run of the game.
Then in the fourth, Agnos scored on a wild pitch. That was followed by a pair of home runs from Bryson Worrell and Seth Caddell that pushed the ECU lead to 4-0.
Caddell talked about what he saw on that particular pitch.
“I was honestly just trying to see the ball up and trying to slow down at the plate and use the middle of the field,” Caddell told PirateIllustrated.com, I got a pitch that was up and put a good swing on it.”
Godwin outlined the basics of his game plan against Tulane on Friday.
“To really focus on just seeing the baseball, slowing down and make sure that we weren’t chasing out of the zone,” Godwin said, “I thought our guys did a good job not chasing out of the zone. I don’t think Olthoff had his best stuff today, but I thought our guys did a good job of just seeing the baseball and using the middle of the field.”
Tulane(24-15/13-3 AAC) starter Braden Olthoff was then pulled after four innings. He gave up nine hits and four runs with just a pair of strikeouts in his 62 pitches.
East Carolina(31-9/13-4) added to the scoring to make it 5-0 when Alec Makarewicz scored on a passed ball by Tulane reliever Jake McDonald.
RBI base hits from Bennett Lee and Frankie Niemann cut the lead to 5-2 in the top of the sixth and Cam Colmore came in for Gavin Williams who showed an abundance of heat on the mound on Friday. Williams lasted 5.1 innings after giving up five hits and two earned runs with nine strikeouts in 95 pitches.
Things were looking dicey with the bases loaded in the sixth, but Colmore was able to put out the fire for the Pirates, inducing a pop fly out of Ethan Groff and a delivering a strikeout to Jared Hard get out of the jam.
The Pirates then loaded the bags in a light rain in the sixth, but were only able to get one run out of it when Lane Hoover walked to bring in a run to make it 6-2. Then in the seventh, Connor Norby’s two-run home run down the left field line and a Ryley Johnson RBI base hit to left center improved ECU’s lead to a touchdown at 9-2.
Tulane ate into the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth on a Frankie Neimann double followed by an Luis Aviles RBI base hit in a 9-4 contest.
ECU then added three runs in the bottom of the eighth on a Connor Norby double and a Thomas Francisco sacrifice fly that effectively put the game out of reach at 12-4.
The two teams now gear up for a Saturday double-header beginning at 1 o’clock.