Drew Reynolds capped off his impressive week going 4-for-4 with a pair of RBI and collected his 10th save of the season helping East Carolina (23-21, 8-7) to a 4-3 Conference USA series win over Memphis (26019, 9-9) Sunday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Chase McDonald broke a three-all tie in the seventh inning scoring Reynolds from second base for a 4-3 advantage. Reynolds, who finished the weekend series with nine hits, singled through the right side with one out and moved into scoring position with his third stolen base of the season. Two batters later McDonald unleashed on a 2-1 offering from Heath Hatfield driving a two-base hit to right center easily plating Reynolds.
Andy Smithmyer (2-1) earned the win after tossing 2.2 scoreless innings allowing just one hit and striking out four. Ryan Williams lasted 4.1 frames in his 11th start surrendering two runs (both earned) on eight hits. Joseph Hughes worked one inning allowing a run on two walks and Reynolds collected his 10th save of the season and 19th of his career working a perfect ninth.
Hatfield (2-2) took the loss in relief giving up a run (earned) on six hits with five strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Starter Alex Gunn was touched for three runs (all earned) on six hits in two innings. Jonathan Van Eaton recorded the final two outs for the Tigers in the eighth stanza.
For the second time in the series, ECU struck first scoring a pair of runs in the first inning taking a 2-0 lead. Bryan Bass drew an opening frame walk and took second on a Jack Reinheimer’s bunt single. After a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, Reynolds singled to right center plating Bass. Zach Houchins drove in his seventh run of the week with a sac fly to center scoring Reinheimer.
ECU added another run in the second on Reynolds RBI single extending its lead to 3-0. Travis Watkins singled up the middle with one out and Bass singled to center putting runners on first and second. Reinheimer reached on a fielder’s choice pushing Watkins to third and Reynolds stroked his second base hit of the day to right pushing across Watkins.
Memphis scored a pair of runs in the third cutting the lead to one, 3-2. Austin Hatfield singled with one out, which was followed by another base hit from Zach Willis moving Hatfield to third. Ethan Gross grounded out to third on a sac bunt that scored Hatfield and put Willis on second. Carter White followed with a double down the left field line plating Willis for the second run of the stanza.
Willis tied the game at three-all in the sixth with an RBI single. Ford Wilson reached on a fielder’s choice then stole second to move into scoring position. After Keaton Aldridge walked, ECU went to the bullpen bringing in Smithmyer to face Hatfield, who he fanned for the second out of the frame. Willis singled up the middle scoring Wilson to pull even with the Pirates.
The Pirates reached double-digit hits for the second-straight contest out-hitting the Tigers 12-9. Reynolds collected a game-high four hits, while Jay Cannon added two for ECU. Houchins, who finished the week going 9-for-15, was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Memphis had four players with multiple hits on the day in Gross, Hatfield, White and Willis.
ECU will hit the road for a midweek tilt against Gardner-Webb on Tuesday, Apr. 30 in Boiling Springs, N.C. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. (ET).