Through seven innings of work, Monmouth starting pitcher Ricky Dennis carried a no-hitter. East Carolina broke the no-hitter in the eighth but that was its only hit of the game. Monmouth (7-11) scored three runs in the first four innings and defeated the Pirates 4-0.
Dennis cruised in the first inning, only using six pitches to shut down the Pirates. He then went on to retire 19 consecutive batters. ECU second baseman Charlie Yorgen was the first Pirate to reach base safely after he was hit by a pitch. Justin Andrews closed the game in the ninth inning for the Hawks.
“Just poor at-bats by our guys,” said head coach Cliff Godwin. “That guy [Dennis] has got a six and a half ERA and comes in here and makes us look terrible.”
The Pirates (13-7) had a chance to cut into the Hawks lead in the eighth with runners on second and first with no outs. Garrett Brooks stepped up to the plate and smacked a line drive right at the first baseman, Shaine Hughes. Hughes then tagged the runner at first and threw out the runner at second to complete the triple play to end the inning.
Parker Lamm sustained an injury to his thumb in the previous game and Wesley Phillips got the start in center field. Turner Brown bat lead-off for the Pirates for the first time in his career at ECU. Brown struck out in his first two plate appearances and was hitless in the game.
“As hitters that was pathetic,” said Yorgen. “We didn’t make adjustments. We hit lazy fly balls. We got out in front in pretty much everything. He threw pretty slow but we got ahead of his off-speed and we didn’t make the adjustment.”
Davis Kirkpatrick got the start for the Pirates. The redshirt sophomore pitched three innings and allowed two earned runs. The usual Sunday started Jimmy Boyd took the mound in the fourth inning. Boyd pitched four and a third innings also giving up two runs. Joe Ingle pitched part of the eighth and the ninth and shut down the Hawks in the final innings. By that time the Pirates did not muster any offense to help its pitching staff.
“Anytime you can win the series, that’s the goal, but we want to sweep” said Godwin. “That was our goal today. If we’re trying to host a regional or super regional, we got to learn how to finish.”