Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
CHAPEL HILL — Unranked East Carolina excelled in all facets of the game Sunday as the Pirates clobbered host North Carolina, ranked No. 6 nationally, 12-0 to win the three-game series between in-state baseball rivals.
East Carolina (6-1), coming off its only loss in a 5-4 setback to UNC on Saturday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, rapped 12 hits and made no defensive errors — compared to three by the Tar Heels (3-4) — while starting pitcher Chris Holba and relievers Alec Burleson and Zach Barnes combined on a three-hit, shutout.
Holba (2-0) gave up two hits and walked two while striking out eight in seven innings. Burleson struck out two in a perfect eighth and Barnes gave up two-out, pinch-hit double to Jackson Hesterlee in the ninth.
Redshirt sophomore catcher Jake Washer led the ECU offense with a 2-for-4 showing that included a two-run triple in the fourth inning and an RBI single in the sixth. He also drew a bases-loaded walk in ECU’s five-run eighth.
Spencer Brickhouse, a Wilson American Legion Post 13 alumnus, was 1 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Pirates junior left fielder and Greenfield product Dwanya Williams-Sutton was 0 for 3 while UNC sophomore Ashton McGee, a C.B. Aycock graduate, also went 0 for 3.
Brickhouse had a three-run home run to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game but Kyle Datres’ solo homer in the sixth tied the score for UNC. The Tar Heels pushed across the winning run in the seventh when Brandon Martorano scored on a double-play grounder.
Reliever Austin Bergner picked up the win while Josh Hiatt got the save for the Tar Heels. ECU, which had 10 hits, stranded 15 base runners. The Pirates won Friday’s series opener 2-1 in Greenville.