ECU Bounces Back For Midweek Win Against ODU
With a full count, the bases loaded and protecting a one-run lead in the top of the eighth inning, East Carolina pitcher Joe Ingle looked on as catcher Travis Watkins gave his sign. Standing a little over 60-feet away, bat in hand, was Old Dominion first baseman and cleanup hitter Taylor Ostrich. Ingle pumped a fastball near the outer-edge of the plate to the lefty Ostrich. Ostrich began to undo his shin guard, ready to trot to first base with a game tying at bat to his name, but the home plate umpire called the borderline pitch a strike and ended the inning with the Pirates still up, 7-6. And just like that the Monarch’s chance of a rally was gone. “Coming in as a freshman, I know it’s hard,” the righty Ingle said. “When coach has confidence in me like that it’s big. It gives you confidence for sure. I mean, hey, I’m a freshman. I’m not going to start every day, but coming out of the bullpen is fun.” ECU (6-5) ultimately won the game, 9-7, and put the previous day’s loss to in-state rival N.C. State in the rearview mirror. The score doesn’t do the moment justice, and neither do the two Pirate runs in the bottom of the eighth, but in the back-and-forth affair that featured 22 total hits, Ingle and Ostrich might as well have turned the outfield lights off and focused a singular light right on the 60-feet that separated them. “It’s my job to make him feel comfortable,” Watkins, Ingle’s battery mate, said. “I wanted to take the pressure off him in that situation.” In the moment, pitching led ECU through the storm but ultimately it was the Pirate bats that put them on top. Against six different Old Dominion (2-5) pitchers, the Pirates tallied nine hits and six walks. “We just have to have a different approach against every pitcher,” ECU coach Cliff Godwin said. “I thought our guys did a good job manufacturing runs, we just kept battling.” Watkins tallied three hits of his own and notched a RBI. First baseman Bryce Harman added a hit and two runs and outfielder Parker Lamm came around to score twice as well. With a three-run first inning to work with, Pirate pitcher Reid Love struggled at times in his first start of the season. He allowed the Monarchs to answer with three runs of their own in the top of the second. Love, who allowed four runs on seven hits, was eventually pulled after the fifth inning with his team holding a 5-4 lead. “Reid didn’t have his best stuff,” Godwin said. “He looked uncomfortable on the mound, I think he was pressing a little bit but I’m just proud for the guys because they came out and fought.” The Pirates now are tasked with turning their attention to a three-game weekend series against Monmouth. By the time the weekend is over, ECU will have played five games in six days.
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