A day after losing its 10-game winning streak, a career day at the plate from Spencer Brickhouse had ECU looking ready for another big streak in a blowout win over Houston.
Brickhouse went 3-for-4 with two home runs and six RBI to lead the ECU (23-7, 7-1 AAC) offense which could not be stopped in a 15-3 win over Houston (17-14, 3-5 AAC) in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Brickhouse hit the first of his home runs in the first inning to get the scoring started after Packard led off with a walk. He then blew the game open with a grand slam in the sixth inning. Ryder Giles, Packard and Lane Hoover each walked to load the bases for Brickhouse, who promptly unloaded them on the first pitch he saw. Jake Washer also launched a home run for the Pirates.
All in all, ECU recorded 14 hits a day after getting only five. Three players recorded multiple hit games, led by Brickhouse and Turner Brown with three each. ECU drew 10 walks, and had six extra-base hits.
Tyler Smith got the start for ECU and gave up two runs in five innings of work. Gavin Williams threw three innings of relief, not giving up any hits but one unearned run. It was an easier day for Pirate pitchers as the offense more than supported them. Evan Odum pitched the ninth inning to close out the win for ECU.
ECU wasted no time and jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. After the Brickhouse homer, Alec Burleson doubled and scored on an infield error.
The Pirates tacked on another run in the second inning with Washer leading off with a double. He advanced to third on a throwing error and scored when Packard hit into a double play in the inning.
Washer hit his home run in the seventh to make it 10-3 after Nick Barber was hit by a pitch to reach base.
In the eighth inning, Dusty Baker led off with a double. Chandler Jenkins reached on an error. Brown brought Baker home with a single and Barber singled Jenkins home to make it 12-3. Washer scored Brown on a sac fly and Giles singled to score Barber.
The Pirates added on more run in the ninth inning on a bases loaded walk.
Houston got onto the board in the fourth inning when Lael Lockhart homered to left field and scored another run in the fifth inning on a Bielamowicz RBI double. A Jared Trioli sacrifice fly in the seventh inning gave Houston its third and final run.