baseball Edit

ECU Beats Tulane 9-1 to Take Sole Possession Of First Place in AAC

Thomas Francisco launched a pair of home runs on Sunday in East Carolina's win over Tulane.
Thomas Francisco launched a pair of home runs on Sunday in East Carolina's win over Tulane. ( photo)

Thomas Francisco hammered a pair of home runs to go along with solo shots from Thomas Makarewicz and Zach Agnos and (13)ECU cruised to a 9-1 win over Tulane Sunday afternoon compete the AAC weekend series in Greenville.

Carson Whisenhunt(5-0) got his first start since coming off of an injury, lasting three innings on a pitch count day of 43 pitches. He gave up just one hit with three strikeouts before a bevy of ECU pitchers came in to see action in relief.

“I thought Carson was a little bit rusty early - he was missing with his fastball, but he threw some big pitches in 3-2 counts to get some guys in a lot of the innings,” Godwin told, “For being his first outing in almost a month he was really good and he gave us a chance to win and that’s all you can ask for.”

“We knew Carson was going to be on a pitch count and three innings was probably the max that we were going to go with him. He gave us a good start,” said Godwin, “Of course A.J. Wilson got a left-hander out, the next guy gets on and we bring Danny Beal in. He has a cut on his hand and I just didn’t feel comfortable with him throwing. (Josh) Grosz came in and got us out of that inning.”

“Then (Nick) Logusch got an out. Carter Spivey with the first and third situation with two outs getting us off the field, especially with the way he pitched last week, we challenged Spivey to believe in himself and be the player that we know he can. We had to get some length and the plan was if we could get to the seventh, you’ve got the sixth year seniors beating down my door that they wanted the ball. Cam and Bridgy and even Saylor wanted the ball.”

In the big scheme, ECU needed to pick up as many wins as possible head to head against Tulane as the Pirates prepare to hit the road where they have not been as successful the next two weekends beginning next Friday in Cincinnati.

“We put ourselves in a position to do what one of our goals is. I told them before the game if you want to control your own destiny then you’ve got to go out there and play your best baseball today,” Godwin reiterated, “If you don’t, then you’re going to be at the mercy of Tulane’s playing hoping somebody beats them. We’ve still got eight conference games left. They’re on the road. We’re .500 on the road. We need to learn how to play on the road because we could be shipped off in a regional somewhere and have to play on the road.”

Starting pitcher Tyler Hoffman(4-2) took the loss for the Green Wave. Hoffman lasted just four and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts including giving up his first three home runs of the season all in one game.

Godwin said he was encouraged by the way his team got right down to business early and did not get caught up in some of the extra curricular jawing between the two teams that had occurred earlier in the weekend.

“We kept our mouth shut today. I was really proud of our team. No chirping going on. We didn’t get caught up in the umpires and just let our play do the talking which is what I want the East Carolina baseball program to do,” Godwin stated.

The Pirates got off to a fast start with a Thomas Francisco RBI hit to left in the first frame and his subsequent home run to right center in the third inning for a 2-0 lead.

Tulane(25-17/14-5 AAC) got on the scoreboard to make it 2-1 in the top of the fourth on a Chase Englehard run producing single to third base that allowed Bennett Lee to score.

ECU(33-10/15-5 AAC) grabbed their third run of the game on a Seth Caddell single up the middle that scored Zach Agnos to make it 3-1.

Francisco’s second homer of the day was soon followed by a Alec Makarewicz home run to right to make it 6-1.

The Pirates then added a run in the seventh on a Josh Moylan hit to right field and Ryder Giles scampered home for the seventh run of the game.

Then in the eighth, Zach Agnos got in the act with a homer into the right field jungle to extend the ECU lead to a touchdown before a passed ball on a pitch from Zach Divito produced another Pirate run to make it 9-1.

ECU opens a four-game AAC series at Cincinnati this Friday with a double-header that begins at 1 p.m. Stay tuned to for the very latest as coverage of Pirate baseball continues.