TAMPA, FL — South Florida overcame an early 3-0 deficit to take the opening game in an American Athletic Conference series with visiting East Carolina 8-6 on Friday night.
The second meeting in the three-game set is scheduled for tonight at 6:30.
Bulls catcher Tyler Dietrich was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and scored two runs as USF improved to 35-10 overall and 10-6 in the AAC.
Dwanya Williams-Sutton was 2-for-5 for ECU (24-22, 4-12) with a double, a home run and three RBIs.
Williams-Sutton hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning that tied the score at 5.
Duke Stunkel had an RBI single in the seventh that put the Bulls ahead to stay at 6-5. Dietrich had a two-run single later in the seventh as USF extended its lead to 8-5.
Charlie Yorgen had a hit that scored Wesley Phillips in the eighth as the Pirates closed within 8-6.
ECU took an initial 1-0 lead in the second after Spencer Brickhouse singled with one out. Williams-Sutton reached on an error and Brickhouse came in on a single to center by Bryce Harman.
Eric Tyler and Williams-Sutton had RBI doubles for the Pirates in the third.
The Bulls got two runs back in the third and scored three times in the fourth for a 5-3 lead.
Yorgen and Tyler each had two hits and an RBI for ECU.
Senior left-hander Evan Kruczynski started and pitched six innings. He allowed eight hits and five runs, all earned. Kruczynski struck out five without a walk.
West Covington (1-2) followed Kruczynski to the mound and absorbed the loss.
Andrew Perez (5-2) got the win.