It was an early start and a shortened game due to American Athletic Conference rules but the No. 12 ECU Pirates continued to rack up conference series wins all the same.
ECU (28-10, 10-1 AAC) took the first game of a Saturday doubleheader against No. 18 UConn by a score of 5-2. The Pirates take the series win in the process and improve to 10-1 in AAC play while dropping UConn to 7-7.
The game began at 9 a.m. Saturday morning due to inclement weather in the area causing Friday’s game to be moved to Saturday. It was just a seven-inning game because AAC rules dictate that when a doubleheader is played on a travel day, one game has to be seven innings and the other a full nine-inning game.
The difference in the game came out of the two bullpens. Both starting pitchers struggled, as ECU starter Jake Kuchmaner went just 2.0 innings and gave up two unearned runs. UConn starter Jimmy Wang went 2.1 innings and gave up three earned runs.
ECU’s bullpen went 5.0 scoreless innings, while the Huskies bullpen went 4.2 innings and gave up two runs. Trey Benton, Sam Lanier, and Evan Voliva all went 1.2 innings each without allowing a run and Benton got the win (4-0) and Voliva got the save.
Alec Burleson led the way for ECU, going 3-for-4 at the plate. He was the only hitter on either side who recorded more than one hit. There weren’t any big hits out of either team in the game, as the two teams combined for 12 hits, all singles.
Neither team had anything on the board until the third inning. UConn scored first with two runs, one on a hit by pitch that scored a run and the other on a sac fly.
ECU responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Turner Brown and Lane Hoover both walked with the bases loaded to tie the game. Jake Washer then hit a sac fly to score the third run of the inning.
Nick Barber and Bryant Packard added RBI singles in the sixth inning to make it 5-2.