GREENVILLE — East Carolina scored four runs in the eighth inning to break a tie score at 3 and the Pirates went on to deal St.John’s its first defeat of the season, 7-4, on Saturday at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
A crowd of 3,207 saw the battle between two nationally-ranked teams.
ECU improved to 2-0 in the 2017 Keith LeClair Classic. The Pirates (7-3) take a seven-game winning streak into the final game of the event against Appalachian State at 3:30 p.m. today.
The Mountaineers (5-5) topped Western Carolina, 7-3, in Saturday’s first game, dropping the Catamounts to 4-5.
The Red Storm (9-1) plays Western at 11 a.m. today.
ECU’s big eighth inning started with a one-out single from Travis Watkins. Pinch hitter Kirk Morgan singled through the right side, moving Watkins to third. Dusty Baker pinch ran for Morgan and stole second. Watkins scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch with two out.
Walks to Brady Lloyd and Charlie Yorgen loaded the bases for a two-run double through the left side by Turner Brown for a 6-3 Pirates lead.
Eric Tyler’s bunt single down the third-base line stayed inches fair and brought in Yorgen to put ECU ahead, 7-3.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first after Yorgen led off with a bunt single. Brown walked but was erased on a double play that left Yorgen at third.
Luke Bolka’s RBI single to right center provided a 1-0 lead. The Red Storm tied the score on an RBI single by Josh Shaw in the third.
Shaw went 3-for-5 as St. John’s had an 11-8 edge in hits.
Two errors and a balk in the fifth resulted in an unearned run for the Red Storm and a 2-1 lead. Pirate coach Cliff Godwin was ejected after arguing the balk call.
ECU answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to lead, 3-2. Spencer Brickhouse was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the tying run and a wild pitch put the Pirates ahead.
John Valente’s RBI double for St. John’s in the sixth tied the score at 3.
Jacob Wolfe started and went four innings for ECU. He allowed seven hits and two runs, one earned. The senior left-hander walked one and struck out one.
Tyler Smith pitched one and one-third innings. Sam Lanier (1-1), who got the win, went two and two-thirds.
Matt Bridges pitched the ninth, allowing one run after a leadoff double by Anthony Brocato. Bridges fanned two, including a game-ending whiff.
Brown and Watkins each had two hits for the Pirates. Yorgen scored two runs. Brown had a pair of RBIs.