Offensive Outburst Lifts ECU Past Albany

GREENVILLE, N.C. — Anchored by a six-run first inning, the Pirates (4-4) rout Albany (1-4) in second game of series.

It didn’t take long for the East Carolina offense to chase Albany starter Cameron Sorgie. In fact, the senior righty could only record one out in the game before being pulled and by then his team was already down 3-0.

From there, the onslaught was on and by the time it was all said and done, the Pirates secured a dominating 14-3 victory at Clark LeClair Stadium on Saturday.

“It’s always nice winning,” said Pirates’ first baseman Bryce Harman. “We come out here and expect to win no matter who we’re playing. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, it could be anybody in the country and we truly believe that we can beat them.”

By the time the rout was over, the Pirates (4-4) managed 18 hits and scored multiple runs in four different innings. Perhaps even more impressive, all nine of ECU’s starting batters came around to score at least once in the game.

“We always say we want to score five or more runs,” ECU coach Cliff Godwin said. “We scored 14 today, so anytime you can get that kind of run support it makes it easier on the pitchers.”

The Pirates weren’t alone in their effort to score, though, as the Albany defense committed six errors to aid the ECU cause.

Six Pirate batters notched multiple hits and sluggers Harman and Luke Lowery, who tied his career-high with a four-hit performance, knocked in five runs while batting third and fourth in the rotation respectively.

“Everybody is important,” said Godwin. “Obviously Bryce (Harman) and Luke (Lowery) had a very big game. Those guys have done a good job for us. I don’t know if there’s two other players like that in the country.”

Albany’s (1-4) defensive nightmare got going early when the Pirates scored six runs in the first inning. In that inning alone, ECU batted around and benefited from three total walks from Albany pitchers. The Pirates’ two through seven batters in the lineup all came across to score in the inning.

“It was very big for us to get the energy up and get going,” said ECU shortstop Hunter Allen. “It got the momentum going all the way around.”

Backed by the impressive home half of the first, ECU starter Jacob Wolfe was never in danger of relinquishing the lead. Despite suffering a three-run fourth inning, the sophomore lefty was backed by constant offense as his team scored runs in five different innings. Wolfe was pulled in the fourth inning after having allowed five hits and three earned runs in the game.

A cast of Pirate pitchers came in to relieve Wolfe. Jimmy Boyd, Joe Ingle, Evan Voliva and Luke Bolka combined to go five innings and let up only one hit out of the bullpen.

“It’s really important,” Godwin said of allowing a variety of pitchers to see the field. “When you don’t have a midweek game it’s really important to put those guys on the mound. That’s really why I pulled Wolfe early because I have to get those guys innings.”

Thirteen ECU batters came to the plate at least once in the game including seldom-used freshmen Bailey Sugg, Cam Snow and Ryan Clinch. The group of freshmen went hitless in the game but their presence alone personified the landslide victory.

With the win, the Pirates won their third straight game and moved to .500 for the first time this season. They turn around tomorrow aiming for a sweep when they face Albany in the last game of the series at 1 p.m.

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