CHARLOTTE — Seth Caddell hit a 2-run homer in the first inning to put No. 22 East Carolina ahead to stay and set the tone for a series-clinching 15-5 win at Charlotte on Saturday.
The Pirates (11-3) go for a 3-game sweep of the 49ers (8-7) on Sunday at noon.
ECU outhit the hosts, 18-11, on Saturday and played errorless in the field while Charlotte was charged with four defensive miscues.
Cadell’s early blast came after a 2-out single through the left side by Alec Burleson.
Connor Norby had a one-out single in a 3-run second inning for the Pirates. He scored on a sacrifice bunt by Ryder Giles. Lane Hoover had an RBI double later in the frame and ECU went ahead, 5-0, on a run-scoring single by Burleson.
Chistian Jayne’s RBI single in the third pushed the lead to 6-0.
Burleson led off the fourth with a double and later scored on a sacrifice bunt by Ben Newton.
The Pirates added five runs in the sixth after loading the bases on a single by Burleson, a double by Caddell and a walk to Bryson Worrell. Burleson scored on a ground out by Newton and Norby’s double to left plated a pair of runs.
Hoover had an RBI single and another run came in on an error in the sixth.
Nick Barber and Alec Makarewicz had RBI doubles as ECU extended its advantage to 15-1 in the eighth.
Josh Haney had a solo home run for Charlotte in the ninth. The hosts got RBI singles from Todd Elwood, Dominic Pilolli and Rafi Vazquez in their last turn at the plate before Elijah Gill recorded a game-ending strikeout.
Norby went 4-for-6 for the Pirates with a double and two RBIs. Burleson finished 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Caddell had three hits and two RBIs. Hoover and Jayne each had two hits.
Tyler Smith (2-1) started and went five innings for the win. Smith allowed three hits and one run (earned) while walking two and striking out seven. Carter Spivey, Gavin Williams and Gill turned in scoreless stints out of the bullpen.