GREENVILLE — Luke Bolka drew a bases-loaded walk with one out in the bottom of the ninth to score Charlie Yorgen with the winning run as East Carolina topped Western Carolina 5-4 in the Pirates’ opening game of the 2017 Keith LeClair Classic on Friday.
ECU (6-3) takes a six-game winning streak into its 4:30 p.m. game today with St. Johns.
The Red Storm improved to 9-0 with a 7-3 win over Appalachian State in the first game Friday.
The Pirates are ranked No. 18 in the latest D1Baseball.com poll. St. John’s is No. 22.
Appalachian (4-5) and Western (4-4) meet at noon today.
ECU freshman left-hander Jake Agnos struck out 11 in five innings of relief against the Catamounts. Joe Ingle (2-0) picked up the win after yielding the tying run in the top of the ninth on Luke Robinson’s RBI single. Bolka threw out Andrew Robinson at the plate from right field on the play to keep the score tied at 4.
A 3-run homer by Bryson Bowman gave Western a 3-0 lead in the third. Senior left-hander Evan Kruczynski left after two and two-thirds innings.
Bolka walked to start a two-run fourth for the Pirates. Spencer Brickhouse doubled to put runners at second and third. Wesley Phillips singled to right to bring in Bolka. T.J. Riles had a single to score Brickhouse and get ECU within 3-2.
Bolka singled to left in the fifth, stole second and scored on a single to right by Brickhouse to tie the score at 3.
ECU took a 4-3 lead in the seventh after Brown walked. He stole second and went to third on a wide throw on the steal. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Bolka.
Bolka went 1-for-1 with two runs and two RBIs. Brickhouse was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Yorgen was 2-for-4 with a run.
The Pirates outhit Western 9-6 and played errorless defense before a crowd of 2,817.