East Carolina (9-3) responded quickly in the first after George Mason got on the board in the first. It would be all Pirates for the rest of the game, wreaking havoc on the base paths. ECU cruised to an 8-1 victory.
The Pirates were running wild against the Patriots. As a team, ECU had six stolen bases, two away from tying a school record. Jeff Nelson had three of the six stolen bases, stealing second and third in the fifth. The Pirates had four stolen bases in the fifth inning.
“I thought our base speed put a lot of pressure on them,” said head coach Cliff Godwin. “I can’t tell you how many bases we stole. I know we stole four in one inning and that put some pressure on them that probably they weren’t used to. Made them to make uncharacteristic mistakes.”
ECU’s top of the lineup produced early in the game. In the first two innings of the game Garrett Brooks and Charlie Yorgen were a combined 4-4 with two doubles and two runs batted in. Brooks was two for four with two runs scored and a RBI. Yorgen finished the game reaching base in three of his four plate appearances.
Freshman Chris Holba got his first start of his collegiate career for the Pirates. He pitched three innings and allowed one run on two hits. Evan Voliva came in to relieve Holba and the sophomore pitched four scoreless innings. Matt Bridges pitched the final two innings for the Pirates.
“Good just to get the nerves out of the way,” said Holba. “It makes it a lot easier with an offense like we do and having Travis Watkins behind the plate takes a lot of pressure off the freshman feel.”
George Mason (2-9) did not put anything together offensively. After scoring a run in the first the Patriots would be shut out for the rest of the game. The Patriots tallied only six hits.
Dwanya Williams-Sutton and Bryce Harman have been struggling of late. Williams-Sutton struck out in his first and only at-bat in the first inning. He was taken out of the game because of a left shoulder injury. Harman had some quality at-bats. He scored Brooks on a sacrifice fly in the first and had a double in the third.
“He just had a bad game against Elon and all of the sudden it’s just a snowball effect,” said Godwin of Harman. “It wasn’t like he was facing better pitching. I mean, he faced it in Virginia. So he took better swings today and I was proud of him in his first at-bat, then hit the double down the right field line.”