GREENVILLE — East Carolina opened a four-game American Athletic Conference series with Memphis on Friday by sweeping a doubleheader at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The No. 9 Pirates (24-5, 6-0 AAC) won the first game, 12-2, in eight innings and held off the visitors, 5-3, in the second game.
“We did a really good job in game one,” said ECU coach Cliff Godwin. ” … Once we had a lightning delay in game two, I thought our position players were dead.”
Bryson Worrell had a homer in each game, right-handed in the opener and left-handed in game two.
The Tigers (11-17, 1-5) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second in the first game on a home run to right by Ben Brooks. The Pirates evened the score in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Zach Agnos.
ECU went ahead to stay with a 3-run third as Seth Caddell had an RBI double for the go-ahead run. Connor Norby’s 3-run homer was the big blow in a 5-run fifth.
Worrell hit a 2-run homer in the seventh and Ben Newton singled to score Thomas Francisco with the game-ending run in the eighth.
Gavin Williams (4-0) started and went five innings. He allowed four hits, one run (earned) and walked one while striking out nine. Garrett Saylor pitched two innings in relief and Trystan Kimmel came in for the eighth.
The Pirates had a 4-0 lead after two innings in the second game. The margin stemmed from a double steal in the first that allowed Connor Norby to score and a 3-run blast to right center by Worrell in the second before a 35-minute delay.
Ryder Giles’ homer in the seventh finished the scoring for ECU.
Norby and Francisco each had three hits in ECU’s seventh straight win.
Matt Bridges (3-0) got the decision in relief of Carson Whisenhunt, who went four and two-thirds with seven strikeouts. C.J. Mayhue came in to strike out three batters with a runner at first in the ninth for his sixth save.
The Pirates host game three of the series on Saturday at 4 p.m.