Pirates Coast Past Eagles

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- ECU (14-11) compiled 20 hits Wednesday to roll past NCCU (9-14) 12-5 at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

East Carolina secured its first midweek victory in three weeks against North Carolina Central Wednesday after a dominant 12-5 decision at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

It didn't take long for the game to get out of hand either. The Pirates scored four runs in the first inning, five in the second and three more in the third to quickly put the game out of reach. As a team, they amassed a season-high 20 hits against an outmatched NCCU club.

"We just wanted to come out and make a statement and just never let up," said freshman Bryce Harman. "It's Division I baseball. You can't take any team lightly."

Harman led the way offensively, going 3-for-4 at the plate with five RBI, while senior centerfielder Ben Fultz also notched three hits (3-for-5) with three RBI to extend his streak of games with an RBI to six.

"Hitting is the hardest thing to do in all sports, in my opinion," said ECU coach Billy Godwin on his team's recent success at the plate. "I see their approach every day … and how intense they are and how they want to work. They want to be good and it was only a matter of time."

ECU (14-11) has now won six of its last seven games – including four in a row – and enters a weekend series with non-conference opponent, Maryland-Baltimore County (5-10), who has won just five games all season.

However, NCCU (9-14) took the lead 1-0 in the top of the first inning and nearly avoided ECU's four-run outburst in the bottom half of the frame. Clean-up hitter Ian Townsend sent a low line-drive to centerfield that was slightly out of Kory Wood's reach, scoring Dylan Brown to tie the game. Harman and Fultz then added RBI knocks to make it 4-1 through one inning.

The Pirates began the bottom of the second with seven straight singles – scoring five runs – and with two outs in the third, collected five more hits to open up a 12-1 lead; prompting Godwin to turn to his reserves the rest of the way and in turn give them valuable playing experience.

"Especially for the young guys and the guys who don't have the experience, there is no substitution for teaching this game and getting them to compete at a high level of it," he said.

Right-hander Tyler Bolton tossed just three innings Wednesday, but still earned his first career win since it was predetermined that he would not pitch five frames. After the junior exited, the Eagles tacked on four inconsequential runs to close the game's scoring.

UMBC will host Navy Thursday night, before beginning a three-game series with ECU the next night. First pitch for Friday's opener is set for 6 p.m. at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

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