GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU Media Relations) – Chris Holba picked up his second win of the season in his first career start, while nine Pirates recorded at least one hit lifting No. 16 East Carolina (9-3) to an 8-1 victory over George Mason (2-9) Tuesday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Holba (2-0) allowed one run (earned) on two this with a walk and two strikeouts in career-high three innings. Evan Voliva made his second relief appearance of the season scattering three hits over a personal-best four innings, while Matt Bridges added two scoreless frames with a strikeout.
Ryan Ricci (0-2) suffered the loss surrendering five runs (all earned) on eight hits with one strikeout in 3.1 innings. Tim Quinn (1.2 IP, 2 Rs), Mark Maksimow (2.0 IP) and Tyler Kardas (1.0 IP, 1 R) worked the final 5.2 innings.
Luke Bolka, Garrett Brooks and Charlie Yorgen each had a pair of hits for the Pirates, while six other added a base knock. Brooks scored a game-high two runs and drove in a run hitting in the leadoff spot for the first time this season. In all, six players drove in a run for the Pirates, while eight scored a run.
Brady Acker and Greg Popatak posted a pair of hits for the Patriots, while Trevor Kelly and Tyler Nelin had one a piece.
How It Happened:
The Patriots jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Acker scored on a Holba wild. Acker slapped a one out double down the left field line and took third on a double steal with Kent Blackstone setting up the games first run.
From that moment one, it was all East Carolina as the Pirates put up eight unanswered runs over the next eight frames. Bryce Harman’s sac fly plated Brooks, who doubled to stat the stanza, knotting the game at one-all. Yorgen singled through the left side putting runners on the corner for Harman, who sent flied out to left field easily scoring Brooks.
ECU scored a pair of runs in the second pushing its lead to 3-1 thanks to back-to-back RBI doubles by Brooks and Yorgen that scored Bolka and Brooks.
The Pirates added a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings increasing their lead to 7-1. Wes Phillips belted his first home run of the season to start the fourth frame and Jeff Nelson scored on a Quinn wild pitch. IN the fifth, Kirk Morgan slashed an RBI base hit through the right side plating Eric Tyler and Bolka collected his second hit of the contest driving in Morgan with a shot to right field.
Ryan Littlefield, who tripled for his first hit of the season, scored the games final run when Travis Watkins grounded into a 5-4-3 double play in the eighth frame.
Prior to the start of the game, Watkins was named to the 2016 Johnny Bench Award Watch List which is given annually to the top collegiate catcher in the nation … The Pirates improved to 43-30 in the all-time series with the Patriots and have won five straight games dating back to 2001 … ECU pounded out 12 hits on the night for its eighth double-digit out put of the season … When recording 10 or more hits in a game this season, the Pirates are 6-1 … ECU swiped a season-high six bases (four in the fifth inning) … Nelson stole a career-high three bases, while Bolka stole a base for the second-straight game … With Phillips home run in the game, ECU pushed its record to 5-0 when a Pirate belts a round tripper in a game … The Pirates had three two-out RBI pushing their season total to 27.
ECU and George Mason will wrap-up the two-game non-conference series Wednesday, Mar. 9 at 4 p.m. (EST).