GREENVILLE — East Carolina spotted Central Florida three runs in the first inning but came back for a 7-4 win to take the series and create the possibility of a sweep on Sunday.
The 14th-ranked Pirates improved to 17-6 overall and 2-0 in the American Athletic Conference as Spencer Brickhouse’s 3-run homer down the right field line in the fifth gave ECU a 5-3 lead.
Ryder Giles had a sacrifice bunt that scored Brady Lloyd and Bryant Packard had an RBI single in the second as the Pirates closed within 3-2.
After the Knights pulled within 5-4 with a run in the eighth, ECU responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame as a double by Alec Burleson brought in Lane Hoover and Turner Brown’s single through the right side scored Brickhouse.
Packard, Brickhouse and Burleson had two hits each. The Pirates had 10 hits.
Starter Tyler Smith, Zach Barnes (1-2), Gavin Williams and Evan Voliva (save, 2) combined to limit the Knights (15-8, 0-2) to four hits in front of 4,128 fans.
Game three of the series is scheduled for Sunday at noon at Clark-LeClair Stadium.