ELON — East Carolina scored three runs in the first inning and went on to defeat host Elon 7-2 on Tuesday.
The Pirates, ranked as high as No. 17 nationally this week, improved to 7-1 going into the Keith LeClair Classic.
Lane Hoover led off the game with a single up the middle. A failed pickoff attempt put Hoover at third and he scored on a grounder to short by Zach Agnos.
Thomas Francisco singled and Bryson Worrell homered to left center to put ECU ahead, 3-0.
The Pirates responded to a 2-run seventh by the Phoenix (6-2) with four runs in the eighth. Agnos singled down the right field line to start the big frame. Alec Burleson and Francisco drew walks before Agnos scored on a throwing error.
Worrell had a sacrifice fly for a 5-2 lead. Connor Norby singled and Trevor Losito had a sacrifice bunt to score a run. Norby came home on a wild pitch.
Cam Colmore (1-0) went to the mound in the third and delivered four scoreless innings while striking out three to get the win.
Worrell was 2-for-3 with three RBIs as the Pirates had a 9-5 lead in hits. Hoover finished 2-for-4. ECU played errorless while the Phoenix had two miscues.
The Pirates meet Indiana on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in the LeClair event. Ole Miss and High Point complete the field.