Baseball tallies first midweek win

The Pirate baseball team (7-4) won 11-9 over the UNCG Spartans at home on Tuesday night.

With the bases loaded in the seventh inning, ECU's Chase McDonald stepped up to the plate. The team was in a back-and-forth affair with the UNC-Greensboro Spartans and the Pirate had yet to win a midweek matchup.

McDonald changed that by hitting a two-RBI single to give ECU the lead. Nick Thompson followed McDonald with an RBI single as a part of a three-run seventh inning that secured an 11-9 victory for the Pirates in Clark-LeClair Stadium.

"Midweek games are the games you have to win," said McDonald. "They put up nine runs on eleven hits and we responded every time."

ECU was forced to respond very early, as the Spartans took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. UNCG's Zach Leach scored on a wild pitch by Pirate starter Andy Smithmyer, followed by an RBI single by Cambric Moye. The lead would extend to 3-0 in the second inning when TJ Spina scored on a passed ball.

The Pirates would score the next six runs, with three in the second inning and another three in the third. Philip Clark had an RBI in each inning, and finished the night with three RBIs total.

UNCG took the lead in the top of the fifth by scoring three runs on two hits. The Spartans loaded the bases twice in the fifth, scoring on a RBI single by Shawn Hendon and an RBI walk by Benigno Marrero. But ECU responded in the fifth with Clark's third RBI to take a 7-6 lead.

The Spartans scored two runs in the sixth to lead 8-7 but a RBI double by ECU's Dylan Brown tied the game at eight.

"Every guy on the field contributed to that win today. It wasn't one guy. It wasn't one pitcher," said Brown. "Everybody that went out there contributed and that was big for this team to get a win."

A home run by UNCG's Marrero briefly gave the Spartans a 9-8 lead, before McDonald drove in the runs that stole the lead for good.

Smithmyer pitched one and two third innings and allowed three runs on two hits with two walks and a strikeout. Jake Harris got the win for the Pirates by pitching two innings and allowing one run on three hits with a strikout. Drew Reynolds was credited with the save, his fourth of the season.

"These guys are tremendous competitors," said ECU Coach Billy Godwin. "I'm proud of the way we got the win tonight because it was a different way then we have been getting them."

The Pirates offense was highlighted by Clark's two hits on two at bats with three RBIs. McDonald finished with two hits, three RBIs and a run scored. Jack Reinheimer, Brown and Luke Lowery all finished with two hits on three at bats.

ECU baseball returns to action tomorrow for its first away game against Old Dominion. Godwin said that freshman pitcher Nick Durazo will start on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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