Greenville, N.C. -- East Carolina scored six runs in the bottom of the second and got seven strong innings from preseason All-America pitcher Seth Maness to defeat the Youngstown State baseball team 11-3 on Friday in the season opener for both teams.
Junior leadoff hitter David Leon gave the Penguins a 1-0 on the second pitch of the game when he homered to right field off Maness, but that's the only baserunner the senior right-hander allowed until there were two outs in the fourth. By that time, the Pirates led 8-1.
YSU starter Phil Klein worked around a leadoff walk to keep the Pirates scoreless in the bottom of the first, but the home team scored six runs on five hits and an error in the second. Zach Wright reached on a throwing error to lead off the inning, and he scored a batter later on Chase McDonald's double to left center. Jack Reinheimer singled in McDonald for the second run, and leadoff hitter Trent Whitehead brought in two more runs with a one-out single. Austin Homan singled in Whitehead, and McDonald drew a bases loaded walk his second time up during the inning for the final run.
After another YSU throwing error prolonged the third inning, Corey Thompson hit a two-run double to left to put the Pirates up 8-1. ECU added two more runs in the fifth off reliever Blake Aquadro.
YSU got on the board again in the eighth when Armani Johnson reached on an infield single and scored on a two-out wild pitch. East Carolina got the run back with an RBI double in the eighth, and YSU's final run came in the ninth when Leon singled in Neil Schroth.
Maness, a preseason All-America selection by multiple media outlets, allowed just one run on Leon's home run in seven innings. He surrendered four hits without walking a batter and struck out seven to earn the victory.
Klein suffered the loss for YSU, allowing four earned runs on six hits and four walks in four innings. Aquadro allowed three runs on seven hits in four innings of relief.
Leon, who redshirted last year, went 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs in his first game since the 2009 season to lead YSU. Drew Dosch, Jeremy Banks, Padraic Williams, Johnson and Schroth also had hits.
Thompson had three hits and drove in three runs to lead East Carolina.
The Penguins and Pirates will continue their three-game series on Saturday. First pitch at Lewis Field at Clark-LeClair Stadium is set for 2 p.m.