GREENVILLE — Jake Kuchmaner and Gavin Williams turned in solid pitching performances as No. 14 East Carolina opened a 3-game series with a 7-4 win over Charlotte on Friday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The duo combined for 15 strikeouts without a walk and the Pirates (11-2) went ahead to stay when an RBI single by Ben Newton produced a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
Newton went 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Bryson Worrell was 3-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored. Thomas Francisco was 3-for-4 as ECU led, 13-8, in hits. Josh Moylan and Ryder Giles were each 2-for-3 for the Pirates.
ECU scored two runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
Giles had an RBI single in the second after the Pirates had taken a 1-0 lead on a run-scoring double by Newton.
David McCabe had two home runs for the 49ers (8-4). His 2-run shot to left tied the score in the fourth.
Giles had an RBI single through the right side for a 4-2 lead.
Seth Caddell and Moylan each drove in runs in the sixth.
McCabe homered to right in the sixth and Austin Knight had a double in the seventh to drive in the final run for the visitors.
ECU added a run in the seventh on an RBI single to left by Newton.
Kuchmaner (2-0) left to a standing ovation from a crowd of 1,181 after going five and one-third innings. He allowed five hits and a pair of earned runs while striking out 10.
Williams worked the final three and two-thirds for his first save. He yielded three hits and two earned runs.
The second game of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m.