CINCINNATI — East Carolina’s struggles in the American Athletic Conference continued Friday night with an 8-2 loss in the series opener at Cincinnati.
The Pirates fell to 20-19 overall and 0-10 in the league, avoiding a shutout with a pair of runs in the ninth.
Treg Haberkorn was 2-for-3 for the Bearcats (20-18, 5-5 AAC) with a triple and three RBIs.
Manny Rodriguez had two hits and two RBIs for the hosts.
Haberkorn had an RBI single in the third to put Cincinnati ahead to stay. Ryan Noda was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded later in the inning to give the Bearcats a 2-0 lead.
Cincinnati scored once in the fifth, three times in the sixth and added a pair of runs in the seventh.
Freshman right-hander Trey Benton (3-2) started and worked five and one-third innings for ECU. He allowed six hits and four runs, three of which were earned. Benton walked one and struck out three.
J.T. Perez (2-5) went seven innings for the Bearcats. He yielded seven hits and walked one while striking out eight.
Eric Tyler was 3-for-5 with a double for the Pirates.
T.J. Riles launched a pinch hit homer to get ECU on the board in the ninth. Tyler singled and scored on a triple by Charlie Yorgen to draw the Pirates within 8-2.
Yorgen and Turner Brown each had two hits for ECU.
The second game of the three-game set is scheduled for 4 p.m. today.