NEW ORLEANS — East Carolina broke a tie score at 5 with two runs in the eighth inning and the No. 12 Pirates added a pair in the ninth to open an American Athletic Conference series at Tulane with a 9-5 win on Friday night.
Brady Lloyd drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth to push Connor Litton across with the go-ahead run. Spencer Brickhouse was hit by a pitch to bring Turner Brown in for a 7-5 lead.
Jeremy Whitehead had a sacrifice fly in the ninth and Brown bunted the final run home.
Two errors by the Green Wave allowed Bryant Packard to score as the Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first. The hosts tied the score on a home run by Trevor Jensen in the bottom of the first.
Chandler Jenkins had an RBI single in the second to score Dwanya Williams-Sutton for a 2-1 ECU advantage.
The Pirates added three runs in the fourth for a 5-2 lead as Litton had an RBI double, Brown had a sacrifice fly and Packard had a run-scoring single. The Wave tallied three times in the bottom of the fourth as Grant Witherspoon had a two-run single to tie the score.
Packard had two hits and an RBI. Williams-Sutton had a hit and scored three runs. Andrew Henrickson went 2-for-2 and scored twice. Litton had a hit, an RBI and scored two runs. Brown had two RBIs and a run.
Chris Holba started and went three innings after missing last weekend’s series with Houston due to illness. Jake Agnos and Davis Kirkpatrick contributed mound stints before Ryan Ross (1-3) came in to claim the decision. Trey Benton tossed a scoreless ninth.
The Pirates improved to 31-12 overall and 9-7 in the AAC going into game two of the series at Tulane (22-25, 7-9) on Saturday at 3 p.m., Eastern time.