ORLANDO — East Carolina powered up for a nine-run eighth inning in a 12-4 win at Central Florida on Saturday to even the American Athletic Conference series at 1-1.
The deciding game is Sunday at 1 p.m.
A solo homer by Jake Washer got No. 18 ECU (17-5) started in its highest-scoring inning of the season and tied the score at 4. Connor Litton launched a grand slam that completed the scoring in the decisive frame.
The Knights (18-7) contributed to the outcome with three errors in the eighth. Nick Barber reached on a miscue that allowed Brady Lloyd to score the go-ahead run.
Jake Agnos (2-2), a former weekend starter for the Pirates, fanned five out of the bullpen in three scoreless innings and got the win.
“This was a great win for us,” said ECU coach Cliff Godwin. “We didn’t play particularly well tonight, but we were able to capitalize on some of their miscues. Washer had a big hit that I thought energized us with the home run that tied it in the eighth. Then we just took what they gave us and were able to put up some runs.
“Jake (Agnos) was terrific coming out of the bullpen shutting them down and was hitting his spots. I thought (Seth) Caddell put together a good at-bat with his two RBI single in the sixth and Connor’s home run in the eighth closed the door.”
Ryan Ross and Davis Kirkpatrick each went an inning and one-third after starter Chris Holba pitched into the fourth.
Lloyd had three hits and Spencer Brickhouse had two as the Pirates improved to 9-0 when totaling 10 or more hits this season.
Brickhouse and Bryant Packard also drove in runs. Washer scored three times. Litton and Lloyd tallied two runs each.