Weekend Roundup: Old Dominion

Ian Townsend (Photo by Kat Jessick)

East Carolina (21-15, 9-6 Conference-USA) lost its first series in over a month after dropping two games against Old Dominion this weekend.

East Carolina (21-15, 9-6 Conference-USA) dropped two of three games in Norfolk, Va. en route to its first series loss in over a month. Old Dominion (22-15, 10-8 C-USA) won Game 1 and Game 2 before the Pirates were able to salvage a win in Sunday's finale.

The Diamond Bucs rolled into the weekend riding the momentum of a 7-0 victory over North Carolina State on Wednesday. Regardless, they were unable to win a fifth consecutive series.

ODU came out strong in Friday's series opener. The Monarchs held ECU to just two hits in the first four frames and took a 2-0 lead heading into the fifth inning. ECU turned around and scored a run in three consecutive innings to earn a one-run, 3-2 lead, heading into the eighth inning.

The Monarchs quickly opened the game up with a five-hit, four-run performance in the bottom of the eighth. Ryan Williams (9-2), who had just relieved starter Jeff Hoffman in the seventh, gave up two singles, a double and a triple in the eighth. ODU led off with back-to-back singles. Josiah Burney then came out and hit the game winning hit—a double down the right field line for two RBI. Taylor Ostrich then plated Burney with a triple to right center, which chased Williams.

The Monarchs carried the momentum from that inning right over to Game 2 to win the series. They were able to score four runs in the first inning to coast to a 9-5 win over ECU.

They notched five hits in the first frame to take a 4-0 lead. Nick Walker led off with a double and reached scoring position on a single from Ben Slaton. He scored on P.J. Higgins' fielder's choice when Kirk Morgan botched what could have a double play by overthrowing Charlie Yorgen at second base. Burney and Jordan Negrini hit consecutive RBI singles and Burney scored the final run of the explosive inning.

Reid Love earned the loss by giving up those four runs. He was chased off the mound without earning a single out. Tyler Bolton did all he could to keep the Pirates in the game in the 5.2 innings he threw. He allowed a run on four hits and struck out five Monarchs.

The Bucs made it a two-run game in the seventh inning when Bryce Harman, Yorgen and Garrett Brooks hit consecutive singles. ODU halted the comeback effort quickly by tallying four runs in the bottom of the inning to claim a 9-2 lead.

ECU managed to claim one win before its trip to Norfolk was over. The Pirates scored five runs in the 12th inning to bring one win back to Greenville. Ian Townsend hit the game-winning hit in with an RBI single that plated Drew Reynolds from second base. Yorgen and Luke Lowery followed Townsend with consecutive two-RBI hits to give ECU a 12-7 win heading into the bottom of the inning.

Reynolds (2-0) had a strong performance on the defensive side of the game, too. He pitched 3.1 innings—a heavier load than usual when he gets the call to pitch—without giving up a single run. He shined on the mound in another poor showing for ECU's starting pitcher. This time it was David Lucroy who was chased from the mound after giving up two runs on two hits.

The game went into extra innings thanks to ECU's two runs in the top of the ninth. Yorgen reached on an error and got in scoring position via a double from Brooks. Yorgen scored on a sac-fly from Joshua Lovick. Dylan Brown hit an RBI single to plate Brooks for the tying run.

ECU will play home-and-home games against UNC-Wilmington on Tuesday and Wednesday before Middle Tennessee State visits Greenville for a conference series.

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