ECU Sweeps William & Mary 7-4
ECU scored three runs in the first inning to set the tone for the day, added runs in the third and sixth innings before scoring twice in the seventh and then held off William & Mary 7-4 on Sunday to sweep the opening series of the season in Greenville.
Jake Kuchmaner(1-0) got the start and the win in just two innings of work with a pair of strikeouts before it turned into largely a staff day for the 3-0 Pirate pitchers who collectively struck out 17 batters.
“I felt good. Warm ups were good. Probably the best it’s felt in a couple of weeks, so once I started warming up I knew it was going to be good,” said Kuchmaner, “Just getting back in the rhythm. It was the second time I’ve been on the mound all spring. The bullpen was so good all weekend. It was just good energy, everybody came in and really good communication throughout the whole thing.”
Connor Norby’s second career home run on a solo shot to left in the sixth inning was one of a pair of hits for him along with three hits and an RBI from Alec Burleson and a pair of hits for RBI’s for Thomas Francisco in the victory.
Matt Thomas delivered a pair of runs for William & Mary(0-3) to go along with RBI’s from both Tyler Solomon and Matt Trehub.
The Tribe had a chance to make a game of it late, scoring a pair of runs on Trehub’s base hit to right and (19)ECU walked in another run before the Pirates shut down William & Mary with multiple runners on base late in the contest.
“Anytime you can sweep it’s a big deal. It’s really tough to win college baseball games. I know all the fans thing we should win every game but you look across the country, Niagara beat Florida State, Villanova beat Arizona State and it’s not like they’re not great programs,” said Cliff Godwin, “Anybody can beat anybody on any given day.”
“I thought we had to scratch and claw and grind it out. It was a good thing,” said Godwin, “I thought the bullpen - a lot of guys got a lot of work this weekend. There are some guys you didn’t see this weekend that you’ll see on Wednesday so I think it’s good experience for our guys.”
Ryder Giles talked about pitching then going back to shortstop and then going back to the mound to pitch again late in the contest.
“It’s kind of funny, it felt a lot like high school,” said Giles, “I’ve never seen a college game where something like that happened but whatever to get a win. It was a weekend and a good team win today. Any time you can sweep a college baseball series, it’s a big weekend for you. It feels wonderful. We get out on a good start. A lot of guys contributed. It was a lot of fun to get back out here in front of the best fans in the country.”
ECU returns to action at Campbell next Wednesday at 5 o’clock at Jim Perry Stadium.