CLEARWATER, FL — Two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted top-seeded Houston to a 5-3 win over East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference tournament at Spectrum Field on Thursday.
It was the first loss of the event for the Pirates (41-16) and their fourth of the season to the Cougars (36-22). No. 15 ECU plays No. 18 Houston again in an elimination game at Robin Roberts Field on Friday at 10 a.m.
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Lael Lockhart had an RBI single in the seventh for a 4-3 Cougars lead and Joe Davis added a sacrifice fly for the final run of the game.
The Pirates loaded the bases with two out in the top of the eighth but Dwanya Williams-Sutton grounded out to shortstop.
Tyler Bielamowicz had a two-run single to start the scoring for Houston in the second. ECU got a run back in the third on an RBI single to center by Bryant Packard that brought in Alec Burleson.
Davis singled to score Lockhart for a 3-1 Houston lead in the in the bottom of the third. The Pirates tallied lone runs in the fourth and fifth to tie the score at 3. Brady Lloyd doubled to bring in Andrew Henrickson in the fourth. Henrickson had a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Burleson (double) and Turner Brown each had two hits for ECU.
Jake Agnos (4-4) was charged with the Houston runs in the seventh and took the loss.
Joey Pulido improved to 5-2 with the win and Lockhart recorded his third save.