Diamond Bucs drop heartbreaker vs. Wolfpack

ECU had multiple opportunities at the plate Tuesday night against N.C. State but fell short in heartbreaking fashion, 2-0, for its fourth loss in five games.

RALIEGH— The East Carolina baseball team (15-18) entered Tuesday's action after having dropped a hard-fought weekend series against Rice.

It continued the trend with a heart-breaking 2-0 loss against the North Carolina State Wolfpack (25-10) at Doak Field. The only two runs of the game were scored on a bloop-single to centerfield by first baseman Tarran Senay in the sixth inning.

Freshman Nick Durazo (0-3) was handed the loss, despite giving up two hits in his five innings of work. Red-shirt junior Brett Mabry went the rest of the way; striking out four batters, and giving up one hit, Senay's two-RBI single.

ECU has now dropped four of its last five games, including the front half of the home-and-home series against the Wolfpack, 6-1, in Greenville April 2.

Pirates second baseman Bryan Bass notched three of the team's five hits Tuesday night, but says he wants to put this game in his rearview mirror as soon as possible.

"Tomorrow when we wake up, this (game) is in the past, and we're on to the next game," said Bass.

Head coach Billy Godwin added, "It's disappointing. I thought we got an outstanding pitching performance by both Durazo and Mabry."

"There's no such thing as a moral victory. These guys are here to win…They need to understand that every time they come out, we need to expect to win."

Freshman Karl Keglovits was the first of five pitchers to throw for N.C. State and went 4 1/3 frames, while only surrendering a pair of hits. Junior reliever Andrew Woeck (3-1) was credited with the win and Grant Sasser recorded his third save of the season.

Bass led off the game with a single up the middle, but was caught stealing at second base.

The Wolfpack followed suit in the bottom half of the frame by having short stop Trea Turner reached base on a throwing error, but was thrown out at third base by catcher Travis Watkins.

Durazo wouldn't surrender a hit until centerfielder Brett Williams led off the fourth inning with a single. Turner singled in the frame and stole second base again to give N.C. State two-runners in scoring position with only one out.

The opportunity was spoiled on an infield pop-fly and a fly-out to deep left-centerfield.

In the top of the fifth, ECU got another leadoff hit from Jay Cannon—who advanced as far as third base—but was left stranded following back-to-back groundouts to end the inning.

After hitting Williams to begin the sixth inning, Durazo's night was finished after allowing only two hits and striking out three Wolfpack batters. Given the Pirates pitching woes in the middle of the week, the freshman may have solidified himself as the team's midweek starter with this performance.

"That's the coaches' decision on that," said Durazo, with a smile across his face.

Later in the inning, N.C. State broke the ice on Senay's bleeder off of Mabry that scored Williams and Jake Fincher and turned out to be the difference.

"Those (type of hits) are the worse. You can't do anything about that," said Durazo. In the game's final innings, ECU had numerous chances to cut into the deficit or possibly even the score.

In the eighth, Dylan Brown was issued a walk and Chase McDonald singled to put two runners aboard, but the Pirates came up empty when pinch-hitter Luke Lowery struck out to end the frame.

Bass led off the ninth inning with a single, and the Pirates had runners on first and second with only one away, but still couldn't cash in. Both Jay Cannon and Dylan Brown flew out to end the game.

The announced attendance at Doak Field was 2,951, which is its largest ever for a midweek game.

ECU will begin a three-game series at Tulane Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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