Pirates take first American series of season after blasting Cincinnati, 14-3

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Travis Watkins collected four hits and drove in four runs helping East Carolina to a 14-3 eight inning (10-run rule) American Athletic Conference series road win over Cincinnati Sunday afternoon at Marge Schott Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 22-19 overall and 2-10 in league play, while the Bearcats fall to 20-20 and 5-7 in conference action. The victory was also the 100th for head coach Cliff Godwin in 164 career games.

Tyler Smith (2-0) picked up his second win of the season tossing 1.2 scoreless frames in relief surrendering three hits with one strikeout. Starter Jake Agnos allowed three runs (all earned) on seven hits with a walk and three punch outs. West Covington closed out the game with two shutout frames.

A.J. Kullman (5-4) was touched for five runs (all earned) on five hits with a walk and one strikeout in an inning of relief work. Starter Nathan Kroger lasted just 2.1 innings allowing one run (earned) on two hits with a strikeout. The Bearcats used four total arms out of the bullpen in Jaron Yoakam (1.0 IP, 2 Rs), Cam Alldred (3.0 IP, 2 Rs) and Reese Robinson (0.2 IP, 3 Rs)

Watkins led the Pirates 16-hit attack going 4-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. Charlie Yorgen continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-5 performance that included a pair of RBI and runs scored. Spencer Brickhouse (three) and Bryce Harman (two) each drove in multiple runs for the Pirates.

Manny Rodriguez, Eric Santiago and R.J. Thompson each had a pair of hits for Cincinnati, while Connor McVey registered a pair of RBI.

How It Happened:
With the game knotted at one-all, the Pirates blew the game open in the fourth inning scoring seven runs for an 8-1 advantage. Brickhouse walked to start the inning and came around to score on Turner Brown‘s double down the left field line. Dwanya Williams-Sutton followed with an infield hit and Watkins drove in Brown with a shot through the right side. Dusty Baker moved the runners up 90 feet into scoring position on a sac bunt before Harman cleared the bases with a single up the middle. With the bases loaded, Brickhouse capped the frame with a double to left center clearing the bases.

Watkins belted his fifth home run of the season (left field) to lead off the third inning giving ECU an early 1-0 lead.

Cincinnati tied the game at one-all in the home half of the third inning on McVey’s RBI ground out. Treg Haberkorn walked to start the frame then took second on Thompson’s bunt to first base. After a double steal by Haberkorn and Thompson, McVey ground out to short pushing Haberkorn across.

Rodriguez’ RBI double in the fourth inning pulled Cincinnati within six, 8-2. Joe Mercer singled with one out and moved to second on an Agnos wild pitch before coming home on Rodriguez’ two-base hit to left field.

McVey’s second RBI ground out scored Thompson from third cutting ECU’s lead to five, 8-3.

ECU plated six runs in the eighth, which was highlighted by Yorgen’s two-run homer and Watkins’ two-RBI double extending the lead to 14-3.

Up Next:
ECU will return to action on Wednesday, April 26 playing host to instate foe NC State at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. First pitch is slated for 7:06 p.m. (ET).Pi

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