baseball Edit

Hot Hitting ECU Pounds Liberty 11-0

Bryson Worrell's three-run homer in the first inning set the tone in ECU's home win over Liberty on Wednesday.
Bryson Worrell's three-run homer in the first inning set the tone in ECU's home win over Liberty on Wednesday. ( photo)

The Pirates scored five runs in the first two innings highlighted by Bryson Worrell’s three-run first inning homer to left off a Christian Gordon pitch and (22)ECU picked up an 11-0 midweek one-hit shutout over Liberty Wednesday afternoon in Greenville.

It was the team’s first since April 22, 2017 at Cincinnati.

It was Worrell’s fifth homer of the season for 9-3 East Carolina after starting pitcher Jackson Haga left the game in the middle of Worrell’s at-bat with an injury and left hander Christian Gordan came on in relief. The Pirate junior switch hitter took full advantage of the situation and came up big.

“It’s never happened to me before - switching in the middle of the bat, but I got ahead in the count, was looking for a pitch in and got it and took a swing on it,” said Worrell, “It was pretty much see the ball, hit the ball. See the ball up and put a swing on it.”

A relieved Cliff Godwin wasn’t sure what kind of performance he would get from his ball club in the midweek heading int Wednesday’s game. The eleven hit attack proved to be more than enough even though the Pirates left nine stranded in the contest.

“The midweek can be tricky when you look around the country and sometimes it’s hard to get 18 to 22 year olds to show up. I thought it started on the mound with Kimmel. He worked quick,” ECU head coach Cliff Godwin said, “I thought our defense was awesome. Bryson getting a swing off - pretty weird situation where the pitcher comes out and unfortunately got hurt and Bryson has to flip around and hits a home run then we added a couple.”

“I was really proud of the way the offense continued to extend into the game,“ said Godwin, “I think at times our offense has taken their foot off the gas peddle because of our pitching and defense has been so good. We hadn’t had quality at-bats later in the game and I was really proud of the offense for that.”

Liberty starting pitcher Jackson Haga lasted just 15 pitches before leaving the game with an apparent arm injury. That set off a chain of pitchers for the Flames in an attempt to get back on schedule, but things got out of hand before they ever could.

Garrett Saylor improved to 2-0 while Jackson Haga fell to 0-1 for (8-5)Liberty.

“It was awesome. The defense was great and we hit well,” said Saylor, “Ryder Giles and all of the outfield played good today and it was a good team win.”

With runners in scoring position and one out in the second inning, ECU was at it again when Zach Agnos reached on a fielder’s choice off of Liberty right hander Troy Britts and the Pirates scored two more runs on a throwing error to quickly make it 5-0.

Right-hander Tristan Kimmel got the start for ECU and put in two innings of scoreless work before Cam Colmore came on in the top of the third inning in relief before Garrett Saylor entered in the fifth.

In the ECU half of the sixth, Alec Burleson’s sacrifice fly RBI allowed Lane Hoover to score the day’s sixth run. Then Worrell’s double down the left field line brought Seth Caddell across home plate. Ben Newton followed with his first two RBI’s as a Pirate with a base hit up the middle as both Worrell and Caddell scored.

The lead expanded to 11-0 with three runs in the seventh inning on singles from Newton and Agnos before a Burleson pop fly to left produced a run to cap the scoring inning for ECU.

ECU next travels to Charlotte for a non-conference three-game weekend series with the 49ers. Friday’s game has been moved up to 3 o’clock in anticipation of cooler temperatures in the evening.