Before a season-high 4,214 fans, the Pirates snapped their four-game losing streak against the Wolfpack with a 7-0 victory at Clark-LeClair Stadium. Also, they have now won three of their last four games and are 12-3 in their last 15.
"I've been in postseason five times since I've been here and I understand what you've got to do and who you've got to beat," said ECU coach Billy Godwin. "As we go through the year, we talk about resume building and when you beat Rice on the road and you beat a good N.C. State team.
"That helps your resume. There's no doubt."
ECU (20-13) received an excellent start from Brett Mabry, who pitched a career-best six shutout innings, and the team's bats capitalized with runners on base – unlike its 3-2 loss to the Wolfpack in Raleigh last week. Senior Drew Reynolds was 2-for-4 at the dish, which included his two-run triple in the seventh inning that put the game away.
"I think it starts with (hitting) coach (Ben) Sanderson. He implemented a good approach and I felt like our hitters took advantage of what he told us to try and do against that pitcher (Logan Jurnigan) and we were able to execute," Reynolds said.
The Pirates jumped on the Wolfpack (19-13) early on Wednesday, scoring runs in both the first and second innings as a result of opportunistic base-running. First, it was Ian Townsend's sacrifice fly to plate Reynolds and then Charlie Yorgen slid safely into home plate on a wild pitch from Jurnigan.
|Brett Mabry earned the win Wednesday night|
However, following a mound visit by pitching coach Dan Roszel, Mabry (3-0) worked out of the jam; forcing back-to-back fly outs to end the frame and his night. In the six innings he tossed, Mabry allowed just five hits, walked three and struck out six Wolfpack batters on 104 pitches.
Godwin has typically turned to junior Tyler Bolton, who pitched well in the Pirates' loss at N.C. State in Raleigh, in midweek games. But in a meeting with Mabry Tuesday night, Godwin instead decided to hand the ball to the sophomore righty for his second start of the season Wednesday.
"I felt like they have seen Bolton last week. I didn't think Tyler threw bad at N.C. State," he told reporters. "When you see the same guy on back-to-back weeks, it'll be an advantage. Mabry has been a spot-starter here and there for us, so we gave him an opportunity to take the ball and boy did he take it."
N.C. State coach Elliott Avent thought differently. He went with the same starter as last week, Jurnigan, and the right-hander allowed four runs on six hits in his six frames of work.
After Mabry's exit, Williams came on in the seventh and cruised to two flawless innings before giving way to Reynolds, who finished the game in the ninth.
Prior to his appearance on the mound, Reynolds sealed the deal at the plate in the bottom of the seventh with his first career triple, which drove in two runs after right fielder Garrett Suggs failed to make a diving catch. Zach Houchins would drive him in on a single the next at-bat.
The Pirates will resume their Conference USA schedule with a three-game series at Old Dominion this weekend. First pitch of Friday's opener is set for 6 p.m.