GREENVILLE — After a resounding loss to No. 18 Wichita State on Thursday night, No. 16 East Carolina responded with a 7-3 win over the Shockers at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday night.
Chris Holba (6-0) allowed one run over six innings with home run support from Connor Litton and Brady Lloyd as the Pirates improved to 19-6 overall and 3-2 in the American Athletic Conference.
Lloyd had an RBI single in the bottom of the third that brought in Chandler Jenkins for the game’s first run. Wichita State (19-5, 1-1) tied the score on a solo homer by Dayton Dugas in the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, a sacrifice fly by Spencer Brickhouse scored Nick Barber for a 2-1 ECU lead.
Litton’s fourth homer of the season, a solo shot to left in the sixth, extended the Pirates’ advantage to 3-1.
Lloyd’s two-run shot in the seventh, his first career homer, pushed the ECU lead to 5-2.
In the eighth, Jenkins had a run-scoring double for the Pirates and Bryson Worrell had an RBI single.
Gunnar Troutwine’s fifth homer of the season brought the Shockers within 7-3 in the ninth.
Wichita State had 20 hits in a 14-3 win Thursday night.
“I felt like our guys would respond after last night as we have done a good job of that this year,” said ECU coach Cliff Godwin. “That’s been our motto ‘Be where your feet are,’ whether we won the night before or get beat by 12 or 14 runs.
“I thought Chris Holba was tremendous on the mound as well as the bullpen. We had some really tough at-bats early on and were able to tack on some runs late to win the game, which was key.”
Holba yielded five hits while walking two and striking out six. Davis Kirkpatrick got his first save of the year as Ryan Ross, Gavin Williams and Jake Agnos all contributed in relief.
The Pirates got two doubles from Jenkins among their 12 hits. Lloyd scored three times.
The deciding game of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.