GREENVILLE, N.C. – Trey Benton struck out eight batters over seven innings, while T.J. Riles drove in a pair of runs as No. 9 East Carolina completed the sweep at the 14th Annual Keith LeClair Classic Sunday afternoon with a 4-0 victory over Appalachian State.
With the win the Pirates improve to 8-3 on the season and extend their winning streak to eight games (longest since 2015), while the Mountaineers fall to 5-6 on the year. In 14 years of the event, ECU has won eight outright titles (five consecutive) and has shared the title once.
Benton (2-0) picked up the win facing one over the minimum allowing two hits with no walks to go along with his eight punch outs. Over his last two outings, Benton has fanned 18 batters in 12 innings of work and posted a pair of victories. Matt Bridges tossed two perfect frames of relief with a pair of strikeouts to preserve ECU’s second shutout of the season.
Luke Watts (1-1) suffered the loss allowing four runs (all earned) on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts over six innings, while Matt Brill worked two perfect innings of relief with four strikeouts.
ECU held an 8-2 advantage in the hit column getting multiple base knocks from Eric Tyler and Travis Watkins, while Spencer Brickhouse, Luke Bolka, Kirk Morgan and Riles added hits. Brickhouse and Morgan joined Riles with RBI, while four Pirates scored runs.
Appalachian State got its two base hits from Conner Leonard and Colin Schmid.
How It Happened:
East Carolina jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Bolka scored on Brickhouse’s sac fly to left field after he led the frame of with his first career triple, a shot down the left field line.
The Pirates broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh scoring three runs and pushing their lead to 4-0. Brickhouse and Tyler singled to start the inning, which was followed by a Bryant Packard walk to load the bases. Morgan slapped a single through the right-side scoring Brickhouse and Riles followed with a two-RBI double to left center giving ECU a four-run advantage.
ECU will hit the road for a two-game mid-week series at College of Charleston starting Tuesday, Mar 7 with a 5 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.