GREENVILLE, N.C. – Travis Watkins belted his third home run of the season and Jacob Wolfe worked into the eighth inning helping No. 20 East Carolina to a 3-2 American Athletic Conference victory over UCONN Sunday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Pirates claimed their third AAC series of the year improving to 26-14 overall and 7-5 in league play, while the Huskies dropped to 21-18 and 6-5.
Wolfe (5-3) allowed a pair of runs (both earned) on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in his seventh quality start of the season. Joe Ingle picked up his eighth save tossing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief with a pair of punch outs. Sam Lanier made his 19th appearance of the year out of the bullpen facing one batter in the eighth where he allowed a base hit.
William Montgomerie (3-2) took the loss surrendering three runs (all earned) on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts in seven innings of work. After allowing Watkins’ home run and then hitting Zack Mozingo, the right-hander retired the final 12 batters he faced before turning the game over to bullpen. CJ Dandeneau worked a clean eighth inning registering a pair of strikeouts.
ECU scored its three runs on three hits getting base knocks from Garrett Brooks (single), Parker Lamm (double) and Watkins (home run). Eric Tyler drove in his third run of the series in the first frame, while Watkins had the game-winning hit in the fourth. Kirk Morgan, Lamm and Watkins accounted for all three of the Pirates runs.
The Huskies doubled up the Pirates in the hit column recording six on the day – all from different individuals. Connor Buckley, a late add to the lineup, and Willy Yahn each drove in a run.
How It Happened:
Watkins’ home run in the fourth stanza gave ECU its second lead of the contest at 3-2 as the Pirates held on for its third conference series win of the year. Morgan started the frame reaching after he was hit by a Montgomerie pitch and Watkins followed taking the first pitch he saw of the inning and depositing it over the left field wall.
For the third-straight game of the weekend, ECU took an early lead when Tyler drove in Lamm on a ground out. Lamm opened the frame with a double to left field and took third on Charlie Yorgen’s sac bunt down the third base line. Tyler followed grounding out to short give the Pirates a 1-0 advantage.
UCONN responded in the second knotting the game at one-all. Tyler Gnesda drew a one-out walk and took third on Bryan Daniello’s double to right center. Buckley drove in the Huskies first run on a sac fly to right field easily pushing across Gnesda.
Yahn’s RBI ground out staked UCONN to a 2-1 lead in the third frame. Aaron Hill reached on an infield bunt single, stole second and moved to third on Jack Sundberg’s grounder to second. Yahn plated Hill on a ground to short giving the Huskies their only lead of the contest.
ECU will continue its stretch of four games in three days when it travels to No. 8 NC State on Monday, April 25 for a night contest at Doak Field. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. (ET).