PirateIllustrated - Pirates Pound the Tribe 11-3 in Game Two on Saturday
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Pirates Pound the Tribe 11-3 in Game Two on Saturday

Matt James trots around the bases after his two run home run in the eight inning
Matt James trots around the bases after his two run home run in the eight inning (PirateIllustrated.com photo)

ECU is off to a fast start to this year’s baseball season after an 11-3 win for their second straight victory of the weekend over William & Mary Saturday afternoon.

The Pirates did the bulk of the damage in a five run fourth inning to go along with three runs in the fifth and two more in the eighth frame for good measure.

Tyler Smith got the victory to move to 1-0 while Justin Pearson absorbed his first loss of the season for Willam & Mary(0-2). Smith went five innings of one hit baseball for the Pirates with six strikeouts and just two walks before a bevy of ECU(2-0) relievers went the rest of the way.

Connor Norby had three hits and scored a pair of runs for ECU while Lane Hoover and Matt James each produced a pair of RBI’s including a home run from James to highlight the Saturday’s action.

After the game, ECU head coach Cliff Godwin graded Smith’s performance on the mound for the Pirates.

“I thought it was awesome. When you look at the box score, he struck out more guys than he normally does. I told you that his breaking ball is better. If you go back, he threw a 2-0 breaking ball for a strike and in the fourth inning he threw the leadoff batter a 3-2 breaking ball and the second batter a 3-2 breaking ball,” ECU head coach Cliff Godwin told PirateIllustrated.com, “He’s never been able to do that before and that’s going to allow him to pitch deeper into the games. We had the long inning and that’s why we took him out. I don’t want to risk his health this early in the season.”

“I felt really good out there. The crowd was really good today, the guys during batting practice - all of them were intent. I just knew from the beginning that we were ready to go. I felt really good besides the innings that lasted longer when we were scoring runs,” Smith told PI, “But that’s okay as long as the guys are scoring, I can just go out there and throw up a zero and let my defense work. That’s the main thing.”

“It was good. I thought Bryson and Norby played more like themselves today. I thought they pressed a little yesterday. Franny has a good day, Seth had a good day, Zach Agnos had a good day and Matt James came off the bench and had a big swing,” said Godwin “Really good to get a lot of guys in the game today.”

Zach Agnos zipped a base hit up the middle that brought Connor Norby home from second base for a second inning run for a 1-0 lead. Agnos said the Pirates played a little more freed up on Saturday than they did in the opener on Friday.

“It was definitely easier. Coach Godwin told us to not come out flat and I don’t think we did,” Agnos said, “We came out swinging and we battled hard.”

In the bottom of the fourth frame, (19)ECU scored five more runs. Back to back Pirate singles were followed by a Seth Caddell double to right center off the wall to scored a run. Zach Agnos followed with a base hit up the middle that produced a run. Ryder Giles grounded to third and ECU scored another run. William and Mary then walked in two more ECU runs to make it 6-1 Pirates.

The Pirates played small ball and added three more runs in the fifth inning before designated hitter Matt James walloped a two run homer to right field in the eighth that put the game out of reach at 11-0.

The Tribe finally got on the scoreboard in the ninth inning with three runs on a Tyler Solomon RBI double followed David Hogarth’s base hit RBI and a Hunter Hart RBI pop fly.

The two teams return to the diamond Sunday afternoon to wrap up the three game set at 1 o’clock in Clark-LeClair Stadium.

PI AUDIO: CLIFF GODWIN

PI AUDIO: TYLER SMITH & ZACH AGNOS

BOX SCORE