GREENVILLE — Chris Holba (3-0) struck out eight in seven innings as East Carolina snapped a two-game losing streak in the Keith LeClair Classic with a 9-0 win over St. Joseph’s on Sunday.
Cam Colmore completed the shutout as the Pirates, who started the week ranked as high as 18th nationally, improved to 8-3.
No. 28 Missouri State (6-3) topped Pepperdine 8-7 in Sunday’s first game, dropping the Waves to 5-7. The Bears went 2-1 in the Classic, claiming the de facto title for the event with the head-to-head win over Pepperdine, which also was 2-1.
Bryant Packard had three hits for the hosts, including his second home run of the season, and four RBIs.
The Hawks slipped to 2-5 as ECU scored three runs in the third inning and never trailed. Turner Brown’s RBI single through the right side scored Packard from second with the game’s first run. Spencer Brickhouse doubled to put Pirates at second and third. Brown scored on an error. Brickhouse came home on a fielder’s choice by Chandler Jenkins.
A solo homer by Seth Caddell and a double by Packard that scored Andrew Henrickson put ECU ahead 5-0 in the sixth.
Packard’s three-run homer was the big blow in a four-run eighth. Nick Barber had an RBI single earlier in the inning.
“I thought we played OK last night, just not good enough to win,” said fourth-year ECU coach and alumnus Cliff Godwin. “We came out with a lot of energy and had some quality at-bats throughout the lineup.
“Chris Holba was outstanding today and when he is on the mound, it takes the pressure off the offense. He puts up zeroes and then we score runs and he comes right back out with more zeroes, it allows the team to gain some momentum.”
Holba allowed three hits without a walk. Colmore surrendered two hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Jake Washer went 2-for-2 for the Pirates and drew two walks.
ECU hosts College of Charleston on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The Cougars (10-2) are coming off a three-game sweep of Georgia at home.