For the third-straight game the East Carolina baseball team finished on the wrong side of the box score, this time falling to instate foe Campbell, 6-4, Tuesday night inside Lewis Field at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Holding a one-run lead heading into the sixth frame, Campbell (2-1) scored three runs to extend its lead to 6-2 thanks to five-straight base hits and a hit batter. With one out, Elijah Trail singled to right field, which was followed by Matt Nadolski’s single through the right side and David Olson’s third-straight poke for the Camels to right field loading the bases for Nick Ray, who doubled down the left field line plating a pair of runs.
Michael Delucia continued the hit barrage with an RBI single to right that pushed across Olson for a four-run advantage. Trevor Lane was hit by a Jake Harris pitch to load the bases before Ben McQuown went down swinging for the second out. Harris finally got the Pirates off the field when Lane was forced out at second on Brent Graham’s grounder to short.
Logan Self (1-0) picked up the win tossing two scoreless innings of relief allowing just one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Right-hander Ryan Thompson notched his first save of the season working the final three frames surrendering a pair of runs (one earned) on three hits with a walk and two punch outs. Campbell starter Matt Marksberry went four frames giving up two runs (one earned) on eight hits with a free pass and two strikeouts in his season debut.
Senior Andy Smithmyer (0-1), who made his second career start for the Pirates, suffered the loss going five innings where he allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Junior Brett Mabry was touched for three runs (all earned) on three hits in one-third of an inning before handing the ball over to Harris, who scattered three hits over the final 3.2 innings with three punch outs.
Campbell jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third thanks to an RBI single by McQuown. Delucia led off the frame with a double down the left field line then took third when Lane grounded out to Smithmyer. McQuown stroked a 2-1 offering back up the middle plating Delucia and the games first run.
In the top half of the fourth, Trail extended Campbell’s lead to 2-0 when he blasted his first career home run for the Camels to lead off the frame.
Campbell plated its third run of the contest in the fifth on a Graham single through the left side scoring McQuown for a 3-0 advantage. With Lane standing on first base, McQuown ripped a double to right center where Dylan Brown fielded the ball, threw it Bryan Bass who then fired a perfect relay throw to Travis Watkins at the dish for the second out of the inning. McQuown moved over to third on a wild pitch and strolled home on Graham’s lone hit of the night.
The Pirates (0-3) finally got on the board in the bottom half of the fifth cutting the lead to one, 3-2. Brown recorded his first hit as a Pirate to start the inning with a single to left, which was followed by Watkins’ second hit of the game – also a single to left. Jack Reinheimer loaded the bases when he beat out a bunt single down the third base line before Bass slapped a single to right scoring Brown. With the bases loaded, Campbell went to its bullpen and brought in Self, who promptly struck out Jay Cannon before Chase McDonald lifted a 3-1 offering to right field scoring Watkins.
ECU clawed back into the contest scoring a run in the seventh on Cannon’s ground out and plating its final run of the night in the eighth on an RBI double off the bat of Brown, capping the score at 6-4.
Despite out-hitting the Camels 12-11 on the night, the Pirates squandered opportunities leaving a total of six runners in scoring position, including a runner at third in the fifth, sixth and eighth frames.
Reinheimer tallied a game-high four hits with his single in the third extending his streak of reaching base safely to 23 games. Brown, Drew Reynolds and Watkins each registered two hits, while McDonald saw his 11-game hit streak come to an end.
The Pirates will be back in action on Thursday, Feb. 21 when they play host to Illinois in the 10th Annual LeClair Classic. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. (EST).