The No. 11 ranked East Carolina University baseball team kicked of its first series of games for the 2018-2019 year, sweeping the weekend with three wins against Radford University, to start off the season with a 3-0 record.
The team played in a doubleheader on Friday, winning the first one with a score of 6-2, and the second one more comfortably 15-9. Both teams met again on Sunday, as the Pirates ended the day with a close 4-3 win.
ECU started off Friday’s first game with an early 1-0 lead in the first inning but then fell behind during the third, before coming back and winning the game 6-2. This was a routine that also happened during the rest of the weekend as it fell behind early in Friday’s second game during the first inning and Sunday’s game during the second.
“That’s what we’re good at, we’re good at overcoming adversity and making plays when it matters the most,” junior pitcher Trey Benton said. “They started off, we got punched in the mouth to start with, we answered and won the game.”
The Pirates did a good job during the first two games, as they hit the ball well on Friday, finishing with 13 hits in the first game and 16 in the second. ECU struggled during the final game, with only eight hits during the game.
The hitting was exceptionally good during the second inning of the second game, as the Pirates went on to score 10 runs during it, finishing the inning with 13 runs in the game, and they never looked back after that.
“I mean, both games really you had to stay locked in. The first game, we knew it was gonna be a dog fight. Their best guy was on the mount and we knew that we would have to put up some runs to win the game,” sophomore pitcher/first baseman Alec Burleson said. “The second game, I mean when it gets long like that, we just have to make sure that everyone is locked in and help those other guys that they’re gonna go in the game and just keep them locked in when it gets long like that."
On Sunday, although the hitting was not as strong as it was on Friday, the pitching took over and took care of business, helping the team put the opponent away, in a close one, as the team had to adjust after a 3-0 deficit after the third inning.
“Keep going out there, tryna get a little bit better, some of the things we knew. Ryder Giles got out there and closed out a ninth inning game with a 4-1 lead, looked comfortable,” head coach Cliff Godwin said. “Some of the other freshmen didn’t look as comfortable, but got a lot of the guys in this weekend, but the most important thing is we got three wins this weekend. It’s pretty hard to sweep teams in college baseball, no matter who it is, and teams beat teams who maybe they’re not better than, and it’s because baseball it’s a sport like that.”
The Pirates will get back to playing baseball on Wednesday at 5 p.m. when they travel to Buies Creek, North Carolina to play Campbell University for their first road game of the season, which will be the only game before their next series starting on Friday in Greenville against Monmouth University.