CHAPEL HILL — East Carolina scored six runs in the first inning in a 9-5 victory at North Carolina on Wednesday night.
Winning pitcher Alec Burleson (5-1) had an RBI single for the go-ahead run in the opening frame and a bases-loaded walk to Turner Brown gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead before Jake Washer hit a grand slam.
ECU, ranked as high as No. 8, improved to 37-11 going into an American Athletic Conference series at Wichita State that starts Friday at 7 p.m. No. 12 UNC slipped to 35-13 before a crowd of 4,023 at Boshamer Stadium in a contest that lasted three hours, 42 minutes.
Brown had an RBI single in the second to put the Pirates ahead, 7-0. The Tar Heels got on the board in the second on a run-scoring ground out by Dylan Harris.
ECU went ahead 8-1 in the third on a sacrifice fly by Burleson.
Lane Hoover’s RBI single in the seventh completed the scoring for the Pirates.
Aaron Sabato had an RBI single for the hosts in a 2-run fifth inning and he hit a solo homer in the seventh.
The Heels got an RBI single from Ike Freeman in the ninth but left the bases loaded as Evan Voliva struck out Harris swinging to end the game.
Bryant Packard was 3-for-5 with a triple as ECU led 11-9 in hits. Hoover and Washer each went 2-for-5.
Burleson, Brown, Dusty Baker and Ryder Giles each had one hit for the Pirates.
Burleson allowed two hits over four innings with one run (earned). He walked two and struck out four. The succession of relievers included Cam Colmore, Gavin Williams, Sam Lanier and Voliva. ECU hurlers totaled nine strikeouts.
The Pirates won for the 12th time in their last 13 games.