The Pirates celebrate with junior infielder Jacob Starling after hitting the walk off homerun.

The Pirates celebrate with junior infielder Jacob Starling after hitting the walk off homerun to clinch the series against Missouri State University

The East Carolina University baseball team (16-3, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) completed their third weekend series sweep of the season by defeating Missouri State University (11-8, 0-0 Missouri Valley Conference) in three sets of games played at Clark LeClair Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina from March 17 to March 19.

The No. 10 Pirates accomplished a series sweep against the Bears, who they had never defeated in their program's history prior to this weekend series. This is their third straight sweep of the season, having previously defeated George Washington University (5-16, 0-0 Atlantic 10 Conference) and Liberty University (8-11, 0-0 Atlantic Sun Conference).

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Trey Yesavage started the series on March 17 and continued his strong start to the season that night, pitching 7.1 scoreless innings to help ECU defeat Missouri State 3-0. The Pirates gave the Bears their first shutout loss since May 2, 2021, and their first shutout of an opponent since a 10-0 win against the University of South Florida on April 15, 2022.

Yesavage was productive in his fourth quality start of the season, limiting Missouri State's potent offense to four hits while tying his career best of 11 strikeouts. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman for the Pirates extended his scoreless inning streak to 12 innings in relief, pitching the final 1.2 frames and striking out three against no walks.

Brandt Thompson, a junior right-handed pitcher for the Bears, received the loss after allowing one run on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Seven different ECU batters had hits in the game, with junior catcher Justin Wilcoxen driving in two runs in the eighth inning with a two-run blast to center that went beyond the wall and out of the park. Sophomore outfielder Spencer Nivens led the visitors offensive output with two singles.

History was made in the first game of this series as Head Coach Cliff Godwin moved into ownership of second place on the ECU coaching wins leaderboard with his 318th victory in the purple and gold.

The second game of the weekend came down to the wire as sophomore infielder Jacob Starling came to the plate down two in the bottom of the ninth and hit an RBI single with the bases loaded to seal the win 4-3 and the series win.

The Pirates earned their first walk off game winner since the regular season finale last year, while the Bears dropped their first series since opening weekend. ECU generated nine of their 11 hits in the fifth inning or beyond and limited Missouri State to one run on two hits in the last four innings.

Junior infielder Alec Makarewicz, senior outfielder Lane Hoover and Starling all had two hits each, while Starling also drove in two runs. All nine ECU batters recorded at least one base hit. The Bears were led by sophomore infielder Nick Rodriguez, who finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

Senior right-handed pitcher Carter Spivey had a solid start, surrendering just two earned runs on four hits with two walks and a career-high nine strikeouts in five innings of action. Sophomore right handed pitcher Jake Hunter earned his first win of the season after allowing only one hit and striking out three batters in the final 2.2 innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, Wilcoxen ignited the rally by hooking the first pitch of the inning into right field. Junior outfielder Carter Cunningham then stepped up and crushed a single along the right field line, moving pinch runner junior infielder Cam Murphy to third and putting ECU in scoring position.

Makarewicz hit a single through the right side that leveled the game at three a piece and moved Cunningham to third. An infield error during a wild pitch loaded the bases with one out, and Starling delivered the winning run by slamming a 1-0 ball back up the middle to bring home Cunningham for the game winner. This come from behind win was the eighth of the season for the purple and gold.

The third and final game on March 19 came in very convincing fashion as the Pirates completed the sweep with a 10-1 victory and moved their current winning streak to four. The Pirates banged out 13 hits while holding down the Bears offense to one run and four hits. Missouri State also made two errors in the game, while ECU made none.

Junior right-handed pitcher Josh Grosz was remarkable on the mound, pitching a career-high 7.1 scoreless innings. He finished with five strikeouts and three hits allowed. Sophomore right handed pitcher Tyler Tscherter had his first loss of the season, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk in four innings of work.

Offensively, junior first baseman Josh Moylan for ECU had his second four-hit game of the season, along with two runs scored and four RBI. Hoover also had a solid outing, recording two hits and driving in two runs. Dylan Robertson, a junior infielder, led the Bears with three hits and two doubles.

Some other notables are that ECU won its fifth series in a row to start the season and completed their third series sweep and the Pirates improved to 13-1 at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The Pirates will seek vengeance in a weekday single game against Campbell University (15-3, 3-0 Big South Conference) on March 22 at 6 p.m. at Segra Stadium in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Fan’s can listen to the game on 94.3 The Game.

(2) comments


This match is as breathtaking as playing basketball stars if possible I want to watch it again.


Totally agree! color by number

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