GREENVILLE — Gavin Williams and Carter Spivey combined for a shutout as East Carolina downed Cincinnati, 7-0, on Friday to take a 2-0 lead in their American Athletic Conference series.
Williams (3-0) went six and two-thirds innings, allowing four hits. He struck out 13 and walked three.
Spivey entered the game with two out and the bases loaded. He got a strikeout to end the threat. Spivey retired all seven batters he faced with three strikeouts.
“It was a pitchers’ strike zone, which Gavin took advantage of,” said Pirates coach Cliff Godwin. ” … We just scratched runs across. Nothing outstanding. No home runs, but just executing some bunts, doing some things and putting pressure on their defense.
“That’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to grit-out wins in the conference and I thought our guys did a really good job of that.”
The Pirates (20-5, 2-0 AAC) scored twice in the second and added five runs in the fourth.
Alec Makarewicz had an infield hit to start ECU in the second and Josh Moylan singled through the right side. Zach Agnos delivered an RBI double to left before Ryder Giles had a sacrifice bunt for a 2-0 lead.
Moylan singled to start the fourth and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Agnos. Jacob Starling walked. Giles had a hit through the left side to load the bases. A walk to Ryley Johnson forced in a run for a 3-0 lead. Starling scored on an error before Thomas Francisco hit a 2-run single through the right side. A sacrifice fly to left by Seth Caddell brought in the last run of the day.
Francisco was 2-for-3 with a walk as the Pirates had a 7-4 lead in hits.
Dean McCarthy (1-2) started and went six innings with six strikeouts for Cincinnati (11-12, 0-2).
The teams are scheduled for a doubleheader on Saturday to complete the series with games at 1 and 5:30 p.m. at Clark-LeClair Stadium.