CLEARWATER, FL — East Carolina, the top seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament, was dealt a 6-2 loss to eighth-seeded Wichita State in ECU’s opening game of the event on Tuesday afternoon.
The Pirates had the bases loaded with two out after a solo home run by Jake Washer in the bottom of the ninth before a ground out ended the comeback bid.
ECU (42-14), ranked as high as No. 7 nationally, won the league tournament last year and took the AAC regular-season title this season. The Pirates meet fifth-seeded Houston (32-23) in an elimination game on Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Cougars lost 4-3 to Connectciut on Tuesday.
Clayton McInnis started for Wichita State (27-29). He pitched a complete game in a 3-1 home win for the Shockers against ECU on May 11.
McInnis pitched six and one-third innings with no decision on Tuesday. Alex Segal (1-1) got the win as the Shockers scored the go-ahead run in the eighth on an RBI single by Ross Cadena for a 2-1 lead.
A 3-run homer by Brady Slavens was the big blow in a 4-run ninth for the Shockers.
ECU went ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first after a 2-out walk to Spencer Brickhouse. He scored on a double off the left field fence by Pirate starting pitcher Alec Burleson.
Jordan Boyer singled with two out in the top of the third. He moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third and came home to tie the score at 1 on a wild pitch.
Burleson allowed six hits and one run (earned) over six innings while walking four and striking out three.
Brady Lloyd went 3-for-4 for ECU and Burleson was 2-for-4.