GREENVILLE — Back-to-back home runs by Connor McVey and Manny Rodriguez for Cincinnati in the top of the ninth lifted the Bearcats to a 4-3 American Athletic Conference win at East Carolina in the series opener on Friday night.
The duo connected on successive pitches to erase a 3-2 Pirates lead provided by an RBI double from Turner Brown that brought in Jeremy Whitehead in the eighth.
Left-hander Ryan Ross (1-4) took the loss.
ECU (35-13, 11-8 AAC) went ahead 2-0 on a two-run homer by Dwanya Williams-Sutton in the first.
The Bearcats (26-22, 11-8) drew even at 2 on a solo homer by Treg Haberkorn in the second and an RBI single by A,J. Bumpass in the fifth.
Cincinnati had a 12-9 lead in hits as Bumpass, who played at Northern Durham, went 3-for-5. Kyle Mottice, McVey, Rodriguez and Eric Santiago had two hits each.
Connor Litton and Brady Lloyd each went 2-for-4 for ECU. Litton had a fly ball to the warning track in left in the bottom of the ninth.
Home plate umpire Brian Drury ejected Pirates coach Cliff Godwin in the fourth after Spencer Brickhouse struck out swinging.
Clayton Colvin (2-3) got the win and Jarod Yoakam picked up his fifth save.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m.