Pirates Rout Princeton for Fifth Straight Win
The East Carolina baseball team took Princeton to school on Tuesday night. The Pirates coupled their red-hot hitting with a quality start from right-hander Jimmy Boyd to secure an 11-2 victory at Clark-LeClair Stadium. Boyd (2-3) worked through the Tigers’ (1-10) lineup with few problems, scattering two runs and six hits across seven innings pitched. With eleven runs Tuesday, ECU (14-6) has scored double-figure runs in its last four games — notching 52 runs off of 63 hits during that stretch — and is currently on a season-best five-game winning streak. “They got a lot of confidence right now,” fifth-year ECU coach Cliff Godwin. “I think that Travis (Watkins’) grand slam against UNC Greensboro (last week) really got everyone going as far hitting with guys on base and it carried over into the weekend.” However, despite their recent dominance at the plate, the Pirates had to manufacture runs to get the wheels turning against the Tigers early on. It started in the bottom of the second inning with left fielder Luke Lowery’s leadoff single, which was followed by a successful hit-and-run to advance Lowery to third base. On the next at-bat, Princeton bit on a well-executed double steal to open scoring. A fielding error and Kirk Morgan’s RBI bunt single made it 2-0 and the Pirates never looked back. “When you take (batting practice) and the wind is blowing in ... then you’ve got to change your game,” said Godwin. “That’s the unique thing about this team. We can bunt, we can hit-and-run, steal bases and we can hit the three-run homer when the conditions allow us to. “Today we knew we weren’t going to be able to sit back and hit a three-run homer, so we had to put some pressure on the defense and we did a good job of that early.” ECU opened the floodgates in the fifth inning — with the help of two Princeton errors — by adding five more runs on five hits to stretch its advantage to 7-0. Charlie Yorgen, Bryce Harman and Travis Watkins each collected RBI in the frame. Lowery, who was the national hitter of the week with his four homer runs last week, scored three runs after notching two hits, a pair of walks and an RBI for the 12th straight game. Including Lowery, four Pirates gathered multiple hits on Tuesday. “We’re a very confident group right now,” said Lowery, who tried his best to deflect the attention from himself when asked about the offensive tear he’s been on recently. “We’re in there with the 35 guys we’ve got in there and we’re confident in ourselves. We know what we can do.” The Tigers tried to stage a rally in the seventh inning, scratching its lone two runs of the game off of Boyd on Danny Baer’s RBI single and a sacrifice fly-out by Brett Geren. However, with two runs aboard, Boyd closed his outing by fielding a comebacker to escape the jam. Princeton will stay in Greenville for one more game on Wedneaday. First pitch has been bumped up to 5 p.m. at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
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