CHAPEL HILL — East Carolina pitchers Chris Holba, Alec Burleson and Zach Barnes combined for a three-hit shutout as run support mounted steadily in a 12-0 win over North Carolina at Boshamer Stadium on Sunday.
ECU took the series two games to one, dropping UNC to 3-5.
The Pirates (6-1) scored three runs with two out in the fourth inning after Spencer Brickhouse walked with two out. Brickhouse went to second on a passed ball before Connor Litton was hit by a pitch. Chandler Jenkins’ RBI single put ECU ahead to stay. Two runs came in on a triple to deep left-center by Jake Washer.
Holba (2-0) yielded just two hits while striking out eight and walking two. The two bases on balls started the bottom of the first but after a visit from pitching coach Dan Roszel, both runners were stranded.
Burleson pitched the eighth after five runs in the top of the frame had pushed the lead to 11-0. The freshman left-hander had two strikeouts without allowing a hit or a walk.
Barnes, a junior right-hander, allowed one hit in the ninth.
“You have to take your hat off to Chris Holba with the way he went out and pitched today,” said Pirates coach Cliff Godwin. “Our bullpen wasn’t deep. We had some guys available, but it wasn’t extremely deep.
“For him to get out of that first inning jam that he created on his own by striking out (Michael) Busch and then get the ground ball was huge. (Rodney) Hutchinson (UNC starting right-hander) was good early, but we got him into the stretch and his stuff played down a little bit. Our guys had tough at-bats all weekend, especially last night and today.
“We feel like we are never out of an inning with two outs. Our guys just keep battling.”
Washer went 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Litton and Jenkins were each 2-for-4 with RBIs. Turner Brown finished 2-for-5 with an RBI.
The series clincher drew 2,925. Attendance for the three games was 12,565.
ECU hosts Old Dominion (3-4) on Wednesday at 4 p.m.