Pirates Take Game One Behind Three Home Runs
With a 14-hit performance, including a four-run fifth inning, East Carolina picked up a 10-3 victory to begin its three-game weekend series against in-state opponent Elon on Friday. The Pirates’ (11-6) three most prolific hitters in the heart of their batting order — consisting of second baseman Charlie Yorgen, cleanup hitter Luke Lowery and first baseman Bryce Harman — each notched a home run to help sophomore pitcher Evan Kruczynski earn his team-best fourth victory of the season. ECU struck first when Yorgen’s first inning solo homer cleared the right field wall, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead. It was his only hit of the game, but started an offensive display that would see the Pirates score in all but three innings on Friday. The Phoenix (8-7) got to Kruczynski in the second and third inning as Elon’s Chris King picked up a RBI in both innings with a fielder’s choice and single that deadlocked the game, two-all. Harman, who finished the game with two hits and three RBI, broke the early tie with his fourth inning solo shot and gave the Pirates a lead they would not relinquish. The fifth inning would prove to be no easier for Elon starter Matt Harris. Harman pushed home Garrett Brooks and Kirk Morgan to score with a two-out triple. Then Harman came around to score after Lowery hit ECU’s final home run of the game on the next at bat, effectively putting the Pirates up 7-2. Aided by the offensive outburst, Kruczynski settled in and went seven innings. He allowed nine hits and three runs — only two of which were earned — and recorded two strikeouts before handing the ball over to Reid Love, who inherited a 7-3 lead. Love, along with Ross Gardner, held the Phoenix without a hit in the final two innings on their way to capping off the Game One victory. Seven of ECU’s starters finished the game with a hit and the Pirates collectively left only four runners on base. Lowery and Morgan tied with Elon’s Joey Tomko with a game-high three hits. ECU returns to action tomorrow for the second game of the three-game series against Elon at 4:30 p.m.
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