CLEARWATER, FL — Memphis hit four home runs to upset East Carolina, 11-1, in seven innings on Tuesday in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
The Pirates, the No. 1 seed for the event, move into an elimination game on Wednesday at 3 p.m. against Cincinnati, which fell to Central Florida, 14-10 in the opening game Tuesday as the Knights scored nine runs in the eighth inning.
ECU (38-14) got a leadoff home run from Connor Norby, AAC Player of the Year, in the bottom of the first but the 1-0 lead fell by the wayside when the Tigers (18-37) scored five runs in the third with the help of a 2-run double from Hunter Goodman.
Tyler Smith (2-3) started for the Pirates and pitched two scoreless innings before beginning the third with a walk, a hit batter and two more walks.
Memphis added four runs in the fifth on consecutive homers to left by Alec Trela (2 RBIs), Taylor Howell and Evan Bell.
The Tigers reached the run-rule margin in the seventh on a solo shot to left by Ian Bibiloni and a sacrifice fly by Howell.
Carson Stinnett (4-5) went six and two-thirds innings for Memphis. He allowed five hits and walked two while striking out three.
Takoda Metoxen came in to record a pair of strikeouts to end the game after Jacob Starling and Bryson Worrell had singles for ECU in the seventh.