Behind the arm of starting pitcher Jacob Wolfe, East Carolina (2-0) put away the Lancers quickly. Wolfe dominated the game going six innings, with seven strikeouts, and did not allow a run. Longwood had a late surge in the ninth, but the bats gave Wolfe plenty of run support and the Pirates came away with a 9-6 win.
In the third and fourth innings, Wolfe struck out five consecutive batters striking out the side in the fourth. He only allowed three hits in his six innings of work and walked only one batter. Through two games ECU starting pitchers have allowed zero runs and have a combined 11 strikeouts.
“The fastball and changeup. They were on today,” said Wolfe. “I didn’t even have to throw the slider today, but everything else and the defense out there gave me confidence.”
Longwood’s (0-2) starter Tyler Wirsu struggled to find the strike zone early on. In the third inning Wirsu walked to and hit a batter to load the bases. Third baseman Eric Tyler drove in a run with a sac fly and outfielder Dwanya Williams-Sutton drove in two more with a double.
“We were way more comfortable today,” said Williams-Sutton. “We put the bat on the ball a lot today and we’re going to keep doing it for the rest of the season.”
Davis Krikpatrick relieved Wolfe in the seventh. This was Kirkpatrick’s first time on the mound since 2014. Luke Bolka and Drew Brady then came in to finish the game but let in three runs and only recorded one out. Closer Joe Ingle came in for his first save opportunity of the season. Up 9-4, Ingle allowed a double which drove in two runs. After scoring five runs in the ninth, Ingle finally shut down the Lancers to give ECU the win and his first save.
For the second game in a row the Pirates had double figure hits. Williams-Sutton had three of the Pirates 13 hits and his two runs in the third were his only runs batted in. Garrett Brooks had three runs batted in on two hits, two of the runs coming in the fifth off a base hit. The only change in the starting lineup was designated hitter Wesley Phillips, who drove in a run.
“I thought they were more comfortable today,” said head coach Cliff Godwin. “Sometimes it’s tough, that guy walked some guys and hit some. It’s tough when the guy is erratic to get good swings off. But we put pressure on them and did a really good job of scoring runs.”