High Point Crushes Pirates 13-2
Cliff Godwin wasn't around long for East Carolina’s midweek tilt with High Point after he earned his first ejection as the Pirates’ head baseball coach on Wednesday night. That might not have been the worst thing either, as the visiting Panthers went on to rout his Pirates 13-2 at Clark-LeClair Stadium. “It was bad,” said Godwin, who re-emerged from his office to speak to reporters after the game. “I’m sorry you guys had to watch it and I’m sorry I had to watch it on the internet. Not good pitching; not good defense; not good hitting. We can draw it up as our worst game of the year.” Luke Lowery added, “It was an embarrassment really. For High Point to come in here and beat us on our home field, it’s kind of like we just gave up out there. It’s unacceptable from our standpoint.” ECU’s (16-10) five pitchers allowed 14 hits. Its defense committed three errors that led directly to three unearned runs. The Pirates’ bats were, once again, held in check with just five hits all night. At this time last week, ECU (16-10) was riding a season-best six game winning streak. Now, it has dropped three straight games going into the start of American Conference play on Friday. The turning point on Wednesday was in the top half of the second inning, where High Point (12-11) crossed the game’s first five runs with the help of two Pirate errors. One of the errors was the result of a bizarre pickoff attempt in which starter Jimmy Boyd's throw was fired to first base — with runners on the corners — but it was mishandled by Bryce Harman, allowing Chris Clare to score. Freshman Ross Gardner came on to relieve Boyd (2-6) for the top of the third and his leadoff walk turned into another run without High Point even recording a hit — it did so by way of two wild pitches and a passed ball. With the score sitting at 6-0 in the Pirates’ half of the third, Godwin was displeased about a ball that was called a strike, among several other things, and said enough to get tossed from the game by home plate umpire Reid Churchill. “I really was telling the guy it was a bad call and he had no idea how bad it was,” Godwin said, shaking his head. “So I’d like for him to go watch it on video and see if he can see what I saw.” ECU had a chance to put a serious dent into the six-run deficit in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded for Eric Tyler. But much like how the entire night went, an unfortunate break went against the Pirates. Tyler lined a fly ball into center field that was likely deep enough to score Charlie Yorgen on a sacrifice fly, but Yorgen was indecisive and decided not to test it. However, Lowery, who was at second, was already halfway between second base and third when Yorgen stayed put, which forced Yorgen off the bag and High Point easily escaped the jam on the miscue with an inning-ending 8-5-2 double play. “Charlie had a different read than I did,” Lowery said. “Once again, it’s just unacceptable and I can’t run him off the bag like that.” The Pirates tacked on a few unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on Jackson Mims’ two-run single, but it was far too late at that point. ECU will play its first ever set of conference games in the American Conference when the Memphis Tigers visit Clark-LeClair Stadium for a three-game series that begins on Friday. First pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 6:30 p.m.
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