ECU Drops Heartbreaker To Jacksonville, 3-2
Hoffman Fans Five In Seven Innings
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nathan Koslowski’s two-RBI double in the seventh inning broke a one-all tie and helped Jacksonville (6-12) to a 3-2 series opening win over East Carolina (9-8) Friday night at John Sessions Stadium.
With one out and the bases loaded in the seventh, Koslowski lifted an 0-1 offering from Jeff Hoffman and drove it deep to centerfield over the head of Garrett Brooks scoring Ethan Loosen and Zach Houck for a 3-1 Dolphin lead. Loosen drew a one-out walk then moved into scoring position on a Hoffman balk. Houck, who reached base three times on the night, was walked intentionally to set up a potential double-play ball to get out of the inning. But Drew Luther walked loading the bases for Koslowski’s game-winning hit.
In a game that pitted a pair of potential first round Major League Baseball prospects against one another, scoring runs would be scarce and Chris Anderson and Hoffman didn’t disappoint. Anderson (3-1) notched the win for Jacksonville allowing a pair of runs (both earned) on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 7.2 innings. Will Flor faced one batter striking out Drew Reynolds with two outs and runners on first and second in the eighth before turning the game over to Adam Maxon in the ninth. Maxon tossed a scoreless ninth with a strikeout and two walks for his first save of the year.
Hoffman (2-2) suffered the loss surrendering three runs (all earned) on five hits with five walks and five strikeouts in seven full innings. Dylan Dickens made his eighth appearance of the season working a scoreless eighth where he allowed a walk and struck out one.
Jacksonville took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Houck scored on a wild pitch. Houck walked, took second on Luther’s sac bunt back to Hoffman and moved to third on Koslowski’s grounder to second before sprinting home.
ECU tied the game at one when Ben Fultz scored on Garrett Brooks’ two-out bunt single to third base. Fultz laced a two-out double down the left field line, moved to third on a wild pitch and came home Brooks’ lone hit of the game.
Trailing by one in the eighth the Pirates pushed across a run cutting the deficit to 3-2. With two outs and Brooks standing on first, Bryan Bass singled through the right side moving Brooks to second, but the right fielder Josh Baker bobbled the ball and Brooks’ took third putting runners on the corners. Jack Reinheimer, who collected a pair of hits, singled up the middle scoring Brooks.
ECU had a chance to tie the game in the ninth. Dylan Brown walked to open the frame and stole second with one out. Philip Clark drew another walk in the inning giving the Pirates a pair of runners on base. Fultz sent a deep fly ball to left field that was caught at the wall and Brooks flied out to left ending the game and leaving the potential tying run on second.
The Pirates will look to snap their three-game loosing streak when the return to the diamond Saturday, Mar. 16 at 2 p.m. (ET).