Pirate seniors shine on senior day

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Luke Bolka (one), Travis Watkins (two) and Charlie Yorgen (one) each hit home runs lifting East Carolina to a 14-6 win over Campbell on Senior Night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 28-25 overall, while the Camels fall to 23-29.

Chris Holba (4-1) picked up the win in relief allowing two runs (both earned) on two hits with three strikeouts in his first outing since April 7th at Houston. Starter Kirk Morgan tossed three scoreless frames where he gave up two hits, walked one and struck out a career-high six batters. In all, ECU used four other arms out of the bullpen getting outings from Davis Kirkpatrick (0.1 IP, 3 Rs), Tyler Smith (0.2 IP, 1 K), West Covington (1.1 IP, 1 R), Sam Lanier (1.2 IP, 1 K) and Ryan Ross (1.0 IP, 2 Ks).

Alex Yarem (2-1) took the loss surrendering three runs (all earned) on three hits out of the bullpen. Starter Bryce Cota allowed two runs (both earned) on one hit with a pair of strikeouts in one inning of work on a Campbell staff day. The Camels used seven pitchers getting outings from Harry Thomas (1.0 IP, 1 K), Tyson Messer (1.0 IP, 2 BBs), Erik Dowse (1.0 IP, 2 Rs), Jack Yusko (1.0 IP, 3 Rs), Wyatt Tyson (0.1 IP, 2 Rs) and Phil Stokes (1.2 IP, 2 Rs).

ECU collected 14 hits on the night getting 10 from its seniors and were led by Watkins’ 3-for-3 performance, which included a pair of home runs, three RBI and four runs scored. Bolka smashed his ninth home run of the season, while Yorgen belted his fourth in his final game inside LeClair Stadium. Eric Tyler collected a pair of hits and extended his on-base streak to a personal and AAC-best 39 games with a single in the sixth inning. In all, the seniors drove in 11 of the Pirates 14 runs.

Drew Butler led Campbell with three hits and had three RBI, while Cole Hallum, Kyle Mehl and Zach Minnick each had two base hits. Minnick and Adam Wyse also had RBI knocks on the night.

How It Happened:

Trailing 5-4 heading to the bottom of the fifth inning, ECU scored three runs, all on Bolka’s homer, to take a 7-5 lead and never looked back. Watkins singled up the middle with one out and moved to second on Turner Brown’s single to right center before both runners scored on Bolka’s home run.

ECU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on Watkins’ eighth home run of the season. Charlie Yorgen was plunked by a Cota pitch and two batters later, Watkins sent a 1-0 offering over the left field wall for a two-run advantage.

Campbell got on the board in the fourth scoring three runs on six hits – all singles – taking a 3-2 lead. Wyse singled home Minnick with a shot down the left field line, which was followed by Butler’s RBI single up the middle that pushed across Mehl. Hallum plated the final run of the stanza with a single to center that scored Wyse.

Watkins’ second home run of the game and an RBI ground out by Drew Henrickson gave ECU a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning. Watkins led off the frame with a solo shot to left field tying the game at three-all. Brown and Bolka both singled before moving up 90 feet on a Dowse wild pitch. Henrickson ground out to first easily plating Brown.

The Camels took their last lead of the game pushing across a pair in the fifth for a 5-4 advantage. Holba struck out the first two batters he faced before Mehl was hit by a pitch and Wyse singled to first and landed on second when the umpire called him safe on a close play at the bag. Butler’s two-RBI single accounted for both runs just one batter later.

Bolka’s three-run homer to left field extended ECU’s lead to 7-5 in the fifth inning. Watkins singled up the middle with one out and two batters later Brown singled to right center before Bolka blasted his eighth home run of the season.

From there, ECU scored three in the sixth and four in the seventh to cap the scoring at 14-6 on the night. Tyler had a two-RBI single and Phillips added a RBI base hit in the sixth. Yorgen’s two-run homer highlighted the seventh, while Brown had a two-RBI base hit as well.

Up Next:

ECU will be back in action on Thursday, May 18 when it closes out the 2017 regular season at UConn in American Athletic Conference play. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (ET) at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, Conn.


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