TAMPA, FL — Four home runs, including a sixth-inning grand slam by Bryant Packard, lifted No. 14 East Carolina to a 13-7 American Athletic Conference win at South Florida on Saturday.
ECU (20-6, 5-0 AAC) goes for a sweep of the 3-game set with the Bulls (12-13, 1-4) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The score was tied at 3 when Spencer Brickhouse led off the sixth with a single to center. Brickhouse moved to second on a foul out by Alec Burleson. A single to right by Turner Brown brought in Brickhouse with the go-ahead run.
Thomas Francisco was hit by a pitch and Jake Washer walked to load the bases. Ryder Giles was plunked to force in Brown for a 5-3 lead for the Pirates.
Packard connected on the next pitch and hit it over the right field fence for a 9-3 ECU advantage.
Tyler Smith (3-0) was the pitcher of record, going five innings. He allowed eight hits and four runs (all earned) while walking three and striking out four.
Burleson, Zach Barnes and Evan Voliva protected the lead in their respective relief stints.
The Pirates got solo homers from Burleson and Francisco in the fourth. Brickhouse hit one out with the bases empty in the seventh.
Small ball produced three runs in the ninth as ECU pushed its lead to the final proportions on a succession of bunts.
Burleson finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Packard had two hits and four RBIs. Giles had two hits and two RBIs. Brickhouse and Brown each had two hits and drove in a run.