GREENVILLE — Pinch hitter Christian Smallwood singled through the right side to score Lane Hoover in the 10th inning and give East Carolina a 3-2 walk-off win over Rhode Island on Friday night in the season opener for both clubs at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Hoover was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the 10th and went to second on a wild pitch. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Bryson Worrell.
Smallwood brought him home after fouling off three pitches and taking a ball from Jon Morrison.
Cam Colmore got the win for the Pirates after coming to the mound with the bases loaded in the ninth and inducing an inning-ending double play.
ECU took a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning as Worrell and Thomas Francisco had RBI singles.’
The Rams tied the score in the sixth with a run-scoring double by Austin White and a single by Josh Brodeur that brought White home.
Tyler Smith started and went five and one-third innings for the Pirates. He had a no-hitter until ninth batter Tino Salgado singled in the sixth.
C.J. Mayhue pitched two scoreless innings of relief for ECU with four strikeouts and no walks.
Both teams had six hits in the contest which lasted three hours and 16 minutes in chilly conditions..
Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. with junior left-hander Jake Kuchmaner scheduled to start for the Pirates.