ECU freshman pitcher Nick Durazo made his second collegiate start after giving up only two runs in six frames against Old Dominion March 12. Against High Point he struck out two straight batters in the first inning, but soon after the Panthers notched two RBI doubles with two outs to give them a 3-0 lead.
"It was a tough first inning for me," Durazo said. "It took me a while to settle in but once I did I got on a roll and adjusted."
High Point would score again in the fifth inning to climb to a 4-0 lead. This time it was on a sacrifice-fly off of Adam Smithmyer; he relieved Durazo in the same inning with two runners already in scoring position. Durazo checked out of the game after giving up four hits and four earned runs.
"I was a little worried about him," said Associate Head Coach Dan Roszel. "Right after he got two outs he forgot to finish up, which is a problem for young guys sometimes, but he got it going and gave us a chance to win that game."
The theme of the night for ECU was leaving runners on base. It wasn't until Jay Cannon extended his hit streak to ten games, with a single in the bottom of the seventh, that the Pirates were able to stop the trend.
Junior outfielder Ben Fultz hit his first homerun of the season on a two run shot over the left-field wall, cutting the Panther lead to 4-2. "I'm glad I had the opportunity to get some at bats tonight," Fultz said. "I trust my swing and was glad I could help out the Pirates tonight, but unfortunately we came up short."
In the eighth inning the Pirates got back to the trend as junior Jack Reinheimer struck out looking with another runner in scoring position to end the frame. This led to some tension as Head Coach Billy Godwin went after the home plate umpire leading to him being tossed at the start of the ninth. In the end the Pirates were unable to overcome the 3-0 deficit losing 4-2.
This weekend the team will open Conference USA play with a chance to bounce back against Houston. "It's a brand new season starting Friday," outfielder Ben Fultz said. "We have lot of confidence in our weekend guys; Houston is going to be good but so are we and we‘ll figure it out."
The Pirates will play a three-game series in Houston this weekend. The first game is Friday night; first pitch at 7:30.