CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina took a 5-0 lead in the first three innings and defeated East Carolina, 7-4, on Friday at Boshamer Stadium.
The Pirates, ranked No. 25 by D1Baseball.com, dropped to 1-4 going into the second game of the series with the host Tar Heels (5-0) on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Game three is scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. in Greenville.
Leadoff batter Vance Honeycutt gave UNC a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a home run on the second pitch from ECU starter Garrett Saylor (0-2). Alberto Osuna homered to left for a 2-0 lead in the second.
The hosts added three runs in the third on a sacrifice fly by Osuna, an RBI double by Reece Holbrook and a wild pitch.
Saylor yielded five earned runs in two and one-third innings.
Bryson Worrell hit a 2-run homer for ECU in the sixth. Mac Horvath had a 2-run homer for UNC in the seventh.
The Pirates scored twice in the ninth on a solo homer by Cam Clonch and an error which allowed Lane Hoover to come home.
Hoover went 4-for-5 with two runs.
Brandon Schaeffer (2-0) started and went five innings with five strikeouts in taking the win.
“We’ll keep grinding,” said ECU coach Cliff Godwin. “We just have to take it one pitch, one play at a time.”