GREENVILLE — Missouri State scored twice in the second inning and never trailed in a 7-4 win over East Carolina in the Keith LeClair Classic on Saturday.
It was the second straight loss for the Pirates (7-3) in the 15th annual event. ECU completes the round robin format against St. Joseph’s (2-4) on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Hawks fell to Pepperdine, 11-2, on Saturday.
Missouri State (5-3) meets Pepperdine (5-6) at 11 a.m. today.
The Pirates cut the deficit to 2-1 Saturday with a run in the bottom of the second as Jake Washer scored on a sacrifice bunt by Dusty Baker. Washer led off with a single and went to third on Andrew Henrickson’s base hit to left.
ECU scored two runs in the sixth to get within 4-3. Spencer Brickhouse’s third hit of the game scored Brady Lloyd from first and Alec Burleson’s single to center brought in Brickhouse.
Connor Litton hit a solo homer for the Pirates in the eighth to cut Missouri State’s lead to 6-4.
The Bears, ranked No. 28, got a 4-for-4 effort from Drew Millas that included two RBIs. Jeremy Eierman had a solo homer for Missouri State in the ninth.
Sophomore left-hander Jake Agnos (0-1) took the loss. He yielded four hits and three runs (all earned) with three walks and two strikeouts in two and one-third innings.
Both teams had seven hits.
ECU, ranked No. 18, lost 12-2 to Pepperdine on Friday.
“I thought we were ready to play tonight,” said Pirates coach Cliff Godwin. “Obviously, Jake has continued to struggle and we have to get a better start when you are facing an ace like Dylan Coleman (seven innings, six hits, three runs, eight strikeouts).
“It’s just tough when you are fighting offensively to scratch across a run and then you go give up a run and keep doing that,” Godwin said. “I don’t think we executed pitches on the mound,.”
Dwanya Williams-Sutton, the leading hitter in the American Athletic Conference as a freshman in 2016, is hurt.
“We are missing some guys offensively and we just didn’t have good at bats,” Godwin said. “We just didn’t play well in all phases and Missouri State did. It’s a long season. . . . Coach LeClair used to say the season is a marathon, not a sprint. We just need to be ready to go [Sunday] and play our best baseball.”