GAME ONE: ECU 6 Charlotte 5
CHARLOTTE - Chris Holba picked up his fourth win of the season against no losses and Alec Burleson picked up his third save in (19)ECU’s 6-5 game one win.
Holba extended his scoreless streak to to 25 and two-thirds innings before giving up his first run in the seventh inning.
Right hander Matt Brooks dropped to 1-2 with the loss for Charlotte.
The game was a pitching duel between Brooks and Holba in a scoreless contest through six innings, but ultimately both teams had nine hits in what became a high scoring game.
“Chris Holba was fantastic in a pitcher’s duel and we were able to break through in the seventh inning and then they answered back before we scored a couple more," said ECU head coach Cliff Godwin, "Didn’t play great defense in the ninth, but (Alec) Burleson finished the job for us."
"Our speed really put pressure on them with Dusty Baker, Brady Lloyd and (Nick) Barber executing our plan. But I’m just really proud of our guys today stepping up when called on and never skipping a beat.”
In the top of the seventh Jeremy Whitehead’s sacrifice fly to center brought Conner Litton home for the first run of the day to give ECU a 1-0 lead. Brady Lloyd then slapped a RBI single to left and Jake Washer scored to expand the Pirate lead to 2-0.
Turner Brown and Dusty Baker added back base knocks to score two more runs and suddenly it was 4-0 ECU. Brooks was lifted for Matt Horkey after six and two-thirds innings of work after giving up three earned runs on six hits in 87 pitches. Charlotte eventually went through five pitchers in the game one loss.
Holba was eventually lifted for left hander Ryan Ross in the bottom of the seventh after going six and two-thirds innings of work after a wild pitch and giving up a pair of hits. Tate Pennington’s two out single scored a pair of runs to help the 49’ers close to within two at 4-2.
But Drew Henrickson’s double to left center in the top of the ninth inning brought Whitehead home for ECU’s fifth run of the contest. Turner Brown added to the damage reaching on a fielder’s choice to score another Pirate run to make it 6-2.
Charlotte didn’t go away in the bottom of the ninth though. Hunter Jones reached on a throwing error to score a run and then Pennington’s single brought home another run to help the 49’ers close to within two at 6-4. Then with two outs, Drew Ober reached on a fielder’s choice and Jones scampered home to make it 6-5 before Jake Hampton lined out to centerfield to end it.
GAME TWO: ECU 12 Charlotte 2
(19)East Carolina extended their winning streak to five and grabbed a 12-2 win over Charlotte in game three of the weekend series to capture the weekend sweep of the 49’ers and move to 12-3 on the season.
Tyler Smith gave up just three hits to go along with three strikeouts in six innings and 63 pitches of work to move to 2-0 on the mound for ECU. Joey Cooner took the loss for Charlotte(8-7) to dip to 2-1.
"Tyler Smith started it off giving us six scoreless innings and the offense really executed our plan early. Burleson had a big game for us with four RBI and then getting home runs by Brickhouse (two-run), Caddell (two-run) and Washer’s solo jack that got us on the board to start the game," Cliff Godwin said.
Jake Washer’s first career homer to right field in the second inning got the scoring underway for East Carolina. Dusty Baker’s sacrifice bunt allowed Drew Henrickson to score and Turner Brown added a run when his single to right brought Nick Barber home for a run to give ECU a 3-0 lead.
The Pirates were at again in the sixth when Alec Burleson’s right field double scored a pair of runs. Then Spencer Brickhouse added insult to injury when his home run to right scored two more ECU runs to make it 8-0.
The ECU lead grew to ten in the top of the fifth when Alec Burleson and Dusty Baker knocked in a pair of runs. Then in the eighth inning Seth Caddell’s two run shot over the right field wall extended the lead to a touchdown and a field goal. It was Caddell’s second career homer.
Drew Ober and Hunter Jones delivered a pair singles on ECU reliever Willy Strong in the bottom of the ninth to score two Charlotte runs and break up the shutout for the 49’ers.