Short and sweet for the
From staff and electronic reports
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GREENVILLE — Mother Nature and Central Florida's travel
schedule helped East Carolina to a 6-5 Conference USA baseball win in just
six innings at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Saturday.
After Chase McDonald lifted the Pirates to a 2-0 lead
with a two-run homer in the first inning, there was a two hour, 54-minute
weather delay before Ben Fultz launched a mammoth grand slam to right field
in the second inning that boosted the advantage to 6-0.
Walks to Chris Gosik, Jack Reinheimer and McDonald
preceded the belt by Fultz that descended onto the practice football field.
There was an agreement that a new inning wouldn't start
after 3 p.m. because of UCF's departure and that helped the Pirates hold off
a UCF comeback.
The Knights managed five runs against ECU starter Ryan
Williams in four innings, all of which were earned. Andy Smithmyer faced
three batters, allowing a hit and walking one, before he was pulled for Jake
Harris (3-3), who was awarded the win. Harris pitched two innings with two
strikeouts. He yielded one hit.
ECU improved to 30-24 overall and 14-10 in the league
with its sixth straight series triumph. UCF, which won the opening game in
Greenville on Thursday before losing a 5-0 lead on Friday, slipped to 29-27
for the season and 13-11 in C-USA.
The Pirates earned the third seeding for next week's
conference tournament, according to Malcolm Gray, ECU baseball media
Brian Adkins (4-7), the first of five Knights pitchers,
was saddled with the loss.
Reinheimer had singled off Adkins before McDonald
connected for his blast into "the Jungle" beyond the left field fence for
his 11th round tripper of the season.
A solo homer by Ryan Breen in the third sparked a
three-run inning by the Knights. Bret Gordon collected two RBIs later in the
Erik Hempe's eighth homer helped UCF cut the lead to
6-5 in the fifth. Harris came in with the bases loaded. He held the lead
with a pop up and a pair of whiffs.
Fultz was 3-for-3 although the Pirates were outhit
11-9. Nick Thompson had a pair of hits for ECU.
The C-USA Tournament is scheduled to start Wednesday in