TAMPA — East Carolina scored twice in the top of the first inning on Saturday at South Florida but the Bulls answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame and the hosts went on to an 8-2 American Athletic Conference win.
USF (24-26, 14-14 AAC) came back for a 2-2 series split after dropping both ends of a doubleheader to the No. 11 Pirates (38-13, 20-8) on Thursday.
In seeking to bounce back from a 7-0 loss on Friday, ECU got a single through the right side by Connor Norby to start the game. Thomas Francisco had an RBI double to left center for a 1-0 lead. Alec Makarewicz doubled down the right field line to bring Francisco home for a 2-0 Pirates advantage.
USF, which had Senior Day on Saturday, took the lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Jake Sullivan.
Jake Kuchmaner (2-3) started for ECU and was charged with the loss.
Norby and Francisco each went 2-for-3 to lead the Pirates offensively.
ECU is the top seed for the AAC Tournament in Clearwater and will face Memphis (17-37, 7-25) on Tuesday at 12:45 p.m.