GREENVILLE, N.C. – Chris Holba tossed a career-high seven innings while striking out a personal-best nine batters and five Pirates recorded multiple hits as No. 9 East Carolina defeated in-state for Elon 7-2 Wednesday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 5-3, while the Phoenix fall to 3-6.
Holba (2-0) earned the win in his second start of the season allowing a pair of runs (both earned) on seven hits with a walk to go along with nine strikeouts. Matt Bridges tossed a pair of scoreless relief frames surrendering one hit and registering three strikeouts.
Jordan Barrett (1-1) took the loss after giving up five runs (all earned) on seven hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts in 3.2 innings. George Kirby allowed a pair of runs (both earned) on six hits with two walks and three punch outs in 4.1 relief innings.
ECU out hit Elon 13-8 on the day getting multiple hits from Spencer Brickhouse (2), Turner Brown (2), Bryant Packard (2), Travis Watkins (3) and Charlie Yorgen (2). It marked the fifth time this season the Pirates reached double-digit hits and fourth during their current five-game win streak. Brown drove in two of ECU seven runs, while Luke Bolka, T.J. Riles and Yorgen each added one.
Joe Satterfield and Kory Shumate each tallied two hits for the Phoenix, while Kyle Jackson and Satterfield each had an RBI.
How It Happened:
For the first time this season, an ECU opponent struck first in a game with Elon jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After being down 0-2 in the count, Zach Evers doubled to left center to get things going for the Phoenix. Satterfield followed with a double down the right field line plating Evers before he came home on Jackson’s sac fly two batters later.
ECU knotted the game at two-all in the home half of the third stanza. Riles and Yorgen both singled through the right side to get the frame going and the runners moved up 90 feet on Brown’s sac bunt. A Barrett wild pitch allowed Riles to score from third and Bolka’s sac fly to deep center pushed across Yorgen, who was standing on third, for the game-tying run.
The Pirates scored three runs in the fourth taking a 5-3 lead and never trailed again. Brickhouse led off with a single, moved to second on Wes Phillips’ sac bunt and third on Tyler Edwards’ first hit of the season – a single to center. Riles then stepped to the plate and dropped a sac bunt back to Barrett in front of the mound allowing Brickhouse to score the would-be game-winning run. Yorgen followed with an RBI single that plated Edwards and Brown’s base knock up the middle scored Yorgen to cap the inning.
ECU would add runs in the fifth and eighth innings for a 7-2 advantage earning its fifth win of the season.
The Pirates will be back in action this weekend when they play host to the 14th Annual Keith LeClair Classic (Mar. 3-5). ECU will welcome in Western Carolina (Mar. 3 / 4:30 p.m.), No. 16 St. Johns (Mar. 4 / 4:30 p.m.) and Appalachian State (Mar. 5 / 3:30 p.m.).