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No. 25 Pirates take out 11th-ranked N.C. State

From electronic and staff reports
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East Carolina used a pair of hits, a fielder's choice, a walk and a wild pitch to cobble together a two-run sixth inning that proved to be decisive in a 6-5 victory over North Carolina State Tuesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

Junior righthander Andy Smithmyer (2-0) fanned five and pitched three key innings of scoreless, one-hit ball in relief to earn credit for the win. The Pirates trailed 4-3 when Smithmyer took over for starter Jeff Hoffman, a freshman righthander, in the sixth.

The 25th-ranked Pirates (15-4) had gained a 6-4 advantage by the time Smithmyer gave way to designated hitter/closer Drew Reynolds to start the ninth. The Wolpack (15-4) got to Reynolds for a run on a hit batsman, a single and a fielder's choice but came up short when junior Danny Canela flied out to end the game.

The teams were tied 4-4 when East Carolina came to bat in the bottom of the sixth. Senior second baseman Tim Younger led off with a double and moved to third on a bunt by sophomore shortstop Jack Reinheimer. Younger put the Pirates ahead by one when he crossed the plate on a single by junior rightfielder Philip Clark.

Reinheimer advanced to second on Clark's hit, moved to third when senior third baseman Corey Thompson walked, then scored on a wild pitch to give East Carolina an insurance run that it would need when No. 11 N.C. State scored on Reynolds in the ninth.

The Wolfpack grabbed a 3-0 lead in the second, getting to Hoffman for four consecutive hits. The outburst was highlighted by a three-run homer by Ryan Mathews.

But the Pirates responded with three runs of their own one inning later. Singles by sophomore centerfielder Ben Fultz, Reinheimer and junior first baseman John Wooten brought Fultz across the plate. Then a double to right center by Reynolds drove in Reinheimer and Wooten.

Sophomore southaw D.J. Thomas (0-1) took the loss. Thomas pitched 1 2/3 innings of effective relief before East Carolina chased him in the sixth with the beginnings of the winning rally.

East Carolina buses to High Point on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. matchup before opening its Conference USA season this weekend with a three-game series at Central Florida.

PAGE UPDATED 03/21/12 12:23 PM.

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