In front of the third-largest crowd ever, 5,213, in Clark-LeClair Stadium, East Carolina (11-6) looked to get back in the win column after its first series loss. Instead, North Carolina rolled through the Pirates and got an easy 17-4 victory.
ECU starting pitcher Evan Voliva struck out the first batter of the game and came away clean in the first inning. The next inning Voliva allowed five runs on two hits and a walk. The Tar Heels then scored three runs on Davis Kirkpatrick, gaining an 8-1 lead over the Pirates in just two innings.
“It was very ugly,” said head coach Cliff Godwin. “Especially on the mound. In that second inning we were up one to nothing and we always talk about going out there and having a shutdown inning. Once the guy hit the home run, Voliva had a meltdown on the mound.”
The Pirates used a total of eight pitchers in the game. The Tar Heels tagged the Pirates pitchers for 17 runs on 17 hits, including two home runs and 8 walks.
“I’m not going to take any credit away from their offense, but every hitter was hitting in an advantage count. 1-0, 2-0, 3-1. We put 10 guys on free bases. They’re a good team and you can’t just keep putting free base runners out there expect they’re not going to score,” said Godwin.
ECU tallied 11 hits against UNC, but did not have success scoring runs. Kirk Morgan had two RBI for the Pirates and Eric Tyler drove in one. As a team, the Pirates were two for nine with runners in scoring position.
UNC (13-2) on the other hand was seven for 12 with runners in scoring position. The Tar Heels had five batters with multiple RBIs in the game. UNC right fielder Adam Pate had a game high four RBI, three coming off a double with the bases loaded in the second inning.
“Personally I’m embarrassed,” said ECU second baseman Charlie Yorgen. “You come to East Carolina to win, you come to win big games. We played in front of 5,000 plus and we didn’t play our best baseball. So we need to get back on track tomorrow at practice, we need to have a good weekend. It’s embarrassing. We need to learn from it.”null