PirateIllustrated - Ole Miss Tops East Carolina 2-1
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Ole Miss Tops East Carolina 2-1

Gunner Hogland and (13)Ole Miss picked up a 2-1 win over (17)East Carolina Saturday in the Keith LeClair Classic.
Gunner Hogland and (13)Ole Miss picked up a 2-1 win over (17)East Carolina Saturday in the Keith LeClair Classic. (PirateIllustrated.com photo)

Gunner Hogland went six strong innings, yielding just one unearned run with eight strikeouts to lead (13)Ole Miss to a 2-1 victory over (17)ECU Saturday night in Greenville.

ECU(7-3) took an early 1-0 lead on a Christian Smallwood grounder to the pitcher that allowed Lane Hoover to score and that would be the Pirates only run of the contest.

Ole Miss(9-1) then scored a pair of runs on a Tim Elko double to right that produced a run and a Jerrion Ealy sac fly to center that allowed Elko to score.

The two teams left ten and nine runners stranded respectively and the one run Ole Miss lead proved to be the final margin of victory.

“I hope everybody who watched the game understands that the guy we faced tonight, he turned down over a million dollars to come to school and he is real good,” said ECU head coach Cliff Godwin, “I thought our guys competed. Our goal was to to get him out by the sixth inning so he was out of the game by the sixth inning. Ole Miss’ bullpen just kept the game there.”

Hogland improved to 2-0 with the win and Braden Forsyth picked up his third save of the still very young baseball season. Tyler Smith fell to 1-1 with the loss for East Carolina, giving up two earned runs and just two hits with five strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work.

C.J. Mayhue and Matt Bridges combined for five and a third innings of scoreless pitching for the Pirates and Godwin gave his assessment of how his team did a lot of things right even though they came up one run short in the end.

“We put him under stressful situations. We had the bases loaded with one out. We just weren’t able to capitalize, but when you’re one of the best pitchers in the country, its just tough sledding,” Godwin said.

“Mayhue was outstanding, Bridges was outstanding just to hold the lead and have a freshman out there in a crucial moment in this type of atmosphere is going to pay dividends down the road.”

“We played tough. They were the better team tonight,” Pirate right fielder Christian Smallwood said afterward, “They played well, they pitched well. We were great on the mound all day. We just didn’t do enough at the plate to win it for us.

ECU resumes action on Sunday for the final day of the Keith LeClair Classic when the Pirates take on High Point at 3:30.