Memphis picked up game two at East Carolina on Saturday with a 7-4 win to even the three-game AAC series at one apiece.
Colton Hathcock moved to 3-3 with the victory for Memphis while Trey Benton took the loss for East Carolina(26-25/5-12 AAC). With the loss, Benton falls to 3-4 on the year.
“We made two mistakes on bunts and we also tried to get a guy out at home when we should have gone to third base, as well. We also talk about making sure that we get an out and that was early in the game,” Cliff Godwin said after the game, “Trey didn’t execute a pitch and one of Memphis’ best hitters makes us pay for it, so that was the difference in the game.”
The Tigers scored five runs in the third inning when a pair of Memphis sacrifice bunts off of ECU starter Trey Benton scored two runs. Then a Chris Carrier three-run home run to left field compounded the issue for ECU.
“When you’re down 5-0 it’s tough for us to do anything offensively. I thought we hit the ball hard. We had 25 quality at-bats. Charlie Yorgen just misses a home run, Dwanya just misses a home run and Travis Watkins hits the ball in the gap and their outfielder makes a great play. That would have scored two runs so everything matters in this game, they played better than we did and they deserved to win.”
In the top of the fourth, a Trent Turner single to left field scored two more Memphis runs to make it 7-0.
ECU scored three runs on four hits in the eighth when Bryce Harman flied out to left centerfield with one out to allow Travis Watkins to score from third base. Drew Henrickson followed that up with a triple down the right field line off of Tiger right hand reliever Connor Alexander that allowed Spencer Brickhouse to score. Then Brady Lloyd’s first RBI of the year on a single at second baseman Zach Schritenthal deep in the gap brought home ECU’s third run of the game to slice the Memphis lead to four at 7-3.
But Blake Bennett came on to retire three of four Pirate batters in the bottom of the ninth to seal the deal for Memphis(27-24/7-12 AAC).
The Pirates and Memphis complete the three-game series on Mother’s Day Sunday with a high noon first pitch in Clark-LeClair Stadium.