PirateIllustrated - ECU Falls 10-9 to Memphis to Close Out the Regular Season
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ECU Falls 10-9 to Memphis to Close Out the Regular Season

Alec Burleson knocked a pair of home runs on Saturday in ECU's 10-9 loss to Memphis to close out the regular season.
Alec Burleson knocked a pair of home runs on Saturday in ECU's 10-9 loss to Memphis to close out the regular season. (PirateIllustrated.com photo)

Memphis struck early and often and seemed determined to pick up at least one win in this weekend’s series with (6)ECU. They managed to do it with a 10-9 victory to close out the regular season.

Hunter Smith(5-7) got the win for the Tigers while Tyler Smith absorbed the loss for ECU for his first loss of the season.

Alec Burleson hammered a pair of home runs on Saturday to go along with a Ryder Giles homer late in the contest but a pair of three-run Memphis bombs from Alec Trelia and Hunter Goodman proved big in the Tiger victory to end up with a winning record in the regular season.

"I'm really pleased with the way the guys fought. We just didn't play clean enough baseball whether it was executing pitches or doing some things offensively but they competed their tails off," Cliff Godwin said, "If they do that, I can lay my head down at night when I go to sleep."

"The first one I cheated to the fastball in and the second one was on the off speed so I put two good swings on some balls," said Burleson.

Memphis(27-26/10-13 AAC) got things rolling in a hurry when they put up a pair of runs on a Cale Hennemann RBI base hit up the middle for a 2-0 lead. Then a delayed double-steal later in the inning scored another run to make it 3-0.

Back to back RBI singles from Thomas Francisco and Connor Norby helped ECU close the gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the second.


Then Alec Burleson’s homer to right scored a pair of ECU runs in the third before Payton Marshall’s double to centerfield scored a Memphis run in the top of the fourth to tie the contest.


Tyler Smith gave up four runs and five hits in four and two-thirds innings of work on the mound in his Saturday start for the Pirates. Gavin Williams then came on for a third of an inning and hung a curve ball up for Alec Trelia who deposited it just inside the left field foul pole for a three-run homer. That gave Memphis a 7-4 lead in the top of the fifth.


But Alec Burleson was at it again delivering the second of two straight homers to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the lead to 7-5.


Hunter Goodman then launched the second three-run Memphis homer in as many innings in the sixth frame as the Tigers opened up a five-run 10-5 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, the Pirates ate into the Memphis lead when Spencer Brickhouse doubled to left to score a pair of ECU runs and cut the lead to 10-7.


After Pirate reliever Zach Barnes went an inning of work, right-hander Cam Colmore came on in the seventh for ECU to prevent any further damage before senior reliever Evan Voliva came in the game with two outs in the eighth to finish the game.


ECU(42-13/20-4 AAC) scored one run each in the eighth on a homer from Ryder Giles and a Bryant Packard RBI base hit in the ninth inning, but that left the Pirates one run short on Saturday.


The Pirates will next head to Clearwater, Florida for next week’s AAC tournament where they will take on Wichita State in the first round on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.

PI POSTGAME AUDIO: CLIFF GODWIN

PI POSTGAME AUDIO: BRYANT PACKARD & ALEC BURLESON