GREENVILLE — In its first game this season since entering the national rankings, East Carolina took a 10-3 win over Old Dominion at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Wednesday.
ECU is ranked No. 18 by D1Baseball.com.
The Pirates improved to 7-1 as freshman left-hander Jake Kuchmaner picked up his first collegiate win with support that included three hits from junior Connor Litton.
ECU scored three runs in the first inning and never trailed. An infield single by Alec Burleson brought in Turner Brown with the first run. Spencer Brickhouse reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed Bryant Packard to score. An RBI single by Dwanya Williams-Sutton scored Brickhouse.
Packard’s two-run homer in the second pushed ECU’s lead to 5-1. The Pirates added a run in the third on an RBI ground out by Seth Caddell.
Chandler Jenkins launched a three-run homer for ECU in the seventh. The hosts capped the scoring in the eighth as Burleson picked up an RBI when he reached on a fielder’s choice.
There were no signs of a letdown after the Pirates won a weekend series with North Carolina.
“I thought it was big for (Kuchmaner) to be a freshman and get out there and get his first start,” said fourth-year ECU coach and alumnus Cliff Godwin. “We got him some run support in the first and that allowed him to relax early. He filled the strike zone and I thought he pitched great for us today.”
Kuchmaner worked into the fifth. He yielded three earned runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Matt Bridges, Ryan Ross, Davis Kirkpatrick, West Covington, Austin Covers and Cam Colmore all delivered scoreless stints out of the bullpen.
“I think our guys feel good right now, but we have to still be on edge especially with three quality opponents coming in this weekend for the LeClair Classic,” Godwin said. “I was worried about coming off the high we were on Sunday into practice Tuesday and I thought we had a great day of work. The guys really got after it in practice and today the intensity was there, which is what I want to see each time we come out and play.”
ECU totaled 11 hits with Brady Lloyd and Packard each collecting a pair..
The Pirates host the 15th annual LeClair Classic starting Friday when ECU plays Pepperdine at 4:30 p.m.
The Pirates meet Missouri State on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and take on St. Joseph’s on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
richard denton says
Lloyd is having a great start. We are a different team when he is in the lineup.