GREENVILLE — East Carolina scored 10 runs in the first three innings and held off Central Florida for a 13-8 win in the American Athletic Conference opener for both clubs at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday night.
The 14th-ranked Pirates, who improved to 16-6, were paced offensively by Spencer Brickhouse, who was 3-for-5 with four RBIs.
Alec Burleson (2-0) picked up the win, holding the Knights scoreless for two innings after a leadoff homer by Anthony George and a double by Dalton Wingo in the seventh.
Ryder Giles pitched a scoreless ninth.
UCF (15-6) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but a 2-run double by Brickhouse in the bottom of the frame that scored Bryant Packard and Lane Hoover put ECU ahead to stay.
Brickhouse had an RBI single in a 3-run second as the Pirates pushed their lead to 6-1. Brickhouse had a triple in the eighth to bring in Packard after a leadoff homer by Dusty Baker.
Packard, Hoover and Jake Washer were each 2-for-4. Packard scored three times, Hoover finished with three RBIs and Washer scored twice.
Giles had a 2-run single in ECU’s 4-run third inning.
Turner Brown and Brady Lloyd each had a hit and an RBI.
The Knights had a 14-13 edge in hits but left 10 runners on base compared to three for the Pirates. ECU committed three errors but only one UCF run was unearned.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m.