HOUSTON -- Nationally-ranked East Carolina broke a 4-1 game wide-open with six late runs to claim a 10-1 win over the Rice baseball team in the opener of a three-game weekend series Friday evening at Reckling Park in Houston.
The No. 16 ranked Pirates chipped away for runs in the first and fourth to hold a 2-0 advantage through the first six innings. ECU then needed only one base hit to double the margin from two to four in the top of the seventh.
Rice struck back for a run in the bottom of the frame. Dayne Wunderlich led off with a single and Ryan Chandler hustled-out an infield grounder for a base hit. Both advanced 90 feet on Andrew Dunlap's fly out to right field. Wunderlich then alertly sprinted home on an ECU wild pitch to cut the lead to 4-1.
The Pirates batted around for six runs on six hits off the Owl bullpen in the eighth. Rice starting pitcher Jon Duplantier was charged with four runs on six hits and four walks in 6.2 innings of work. He also struck out nine on the night to give him 23 Ks in his last 14.1 innings of work.
Chandler finished with three hits including double to right in the fifth. Rice posted double-digit hits for the second-straight game.
The Owls are now 6-7 on the season. East Carolina is 11-3 overall with the team's fourth-straight win. The series continues through Sunday (March 13). Saturday's start time is set for 2 pm. Sunday's first pitch is slated for 12:30 pm.