baseball Edit

Missouri St. Tops ECU 7-4 in KLC

Missouri State's Jeremy Eierman homered on Sam Lanier  in the ninth inning in a 7-4 victory over ECU.
Missouri State's Jeremy Eierman homered on Sam Lanier in the ninth inning in a 7-4 victory over ECU. (PirateIllustrated.com photo)

GREENVILLE, N.C. - (28)Missouri State bounced back on Saturday after a Friday loss to Saint Joseph's to take a 7-4 win over (18)East Carolina.

With the defeat on Saturday, the Pirates have lost their third game in the last eight days and their second of the weekend in the Keith LeClair Classic to fall to 7-3.

Bear starter Dylan Coleman(2-0) went seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits with eight strikeouts in 109 pitches of work to pick up the victory for Missouri State.

All American Jeremy Eierman homered in the ninth frame to help salt away the victory for the Bears while Matt Russell picked up his second save of the season.

“We didn’t pitch well enough tonight to win to beat an ace. Offensively we were just okay, we weren’t great. Obviously we’re missing some guys in the lineup because of injury,” said ECU head coach Cliff Godwin, “It’s tough when every time you score, you’re giving up a run and you’re facing a pitcher who is going to be a really high draft pick."

Spencer Brickhouse went 3 for 4 for the Pirates with a run and Connor Litton homered for the Pirates. But ECU starter Jake Agnos(0-1) lasted just two and a third innings after giving up three runs on four hits with a pair of strikeouts and ECU eventually went through six pitchers on Saturday to no avail.

“I thought we were ready to play tonight but we just didn’t play well enough to win. They played better than us and they won the game,” Godwin said, “We’ve got to pitch better, we’ve got to do everything a little better.”

The Bears got on the scoreboard first when Jack Duffy’s double to centerfield brought Hunter Steinmez home. Then Logan Geha singled to left to bring in Duffy to give the Bears a 2-0 cushion.

In the bottom of the second frame ECU(7-3) struck back when a Dusty Baker sacrifice bunt allowed Jake Washer to score to cut the lead to one at 2-1.

Ben Whetstone’s RBI single to left center put Missouri State(5-3) up 3-1 in the top of the third inning.

Geha was at it again in the top of the sixth when he singled to right field to score another Bear run to extend the Missouri State lead to 4-1.

ECU mounted a rally in the bottom of that same inning when Spencer Brickhouse doubled to left and Brady Lloyd scampered home to cut the lead to two. Then Alec Burleson’s single to center field allowed Brickhouse to cross home plate and cut the Missouri State lead to just one at 4-3.

Tyler Smith entered in relief of ECU reliever Davis Kirkpatrick after he gave up a double down the left field line to John Privitera. Smith then gave up a single to Jeremy Eierman who advanced to second base and Privitera moved to third creating another major threat. Then when Drew Millas singled up the middle, the Bears scored two more runs to increase their lead to 6-3.

After ECU put out a Missouri State threat with runners on second and third in the eighth, Nate Witherspoon came on in relief of Dylan Coleman for the Bears. Witherspoon was immediately lit up by ECU’s Connor Litton who homered to left field to cut the Missouri State lead to 6-4 but that was as close at ECU would get.

Eierman then homered in the top of the ninth to extend the Bear lead to 7-4 and put the game out of reach.

ECU tees it up again tomorrow at 3:30 against Saint Joseph's in the final game of this year's Keith LeClair Classic.

PI PHOTO GALLERY: Missouri State 7 ECU 4