GREENVILLE — Jacob Jenkins-Cowart led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a home run down the right-field line to lift East Carolina to a 4-3 win over Saint Mary’s of California in the deciding contest of a 3-game series on Sunday evening at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Gaels held off the Pirates for a 6-5 win in the first game on Sunday. ECU scored three times in the bottom of the ninth in the opening game of a doubleheader on Sunday before Saint Mary’s brought in left-hander Chase Dabbs, who notched his first save.
The visitors scored two runs in the top of the second in the final game to lead, 2-0. Cam Clonch homered to right-center to get the Pirates within 2-1 in the bottom of the second.
An RBI double by Kyle Velazquez extended the Gaels lead to 3-1 in the third.
ECU pulled even in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Ryder Giles and an unearned run by Zach Agnos on a Saint Mary’s error.
Jenkins-Cowart connected with a 1-1 pitch from Chris Santiago (1-1) for the series-deciding blast.
An error allowed Saint Mary’s to get the potential tying run to third base in the top of the ninth before Garrett Saylor (1-2) got the final out on a sharp grounder back to the mound.
The Gaels slipped to 13-3.
C.J. Mayhue and Saylor each turned in three and one-third innings of scoreless relief. Mayhue had six strikeouts and Saylor whiffed five.
Jenkins-Cowart was 3-for-4 in the last game and Clonch went 2-for-2.
Starter Josh Grosz (2-1) took the loss in the first game Sunday and Nathan Schneider (2-0) got the win in relief for Saint Mary’s.
Nathan Chong and Velazquez each had two RBIs in the first game. Lane Hoover, Carter Cunningham and Ryan McCrystal had RBIs for the Pirates.
ECU (9-7) visits Old Dominion (13-1) on Tuesday for a 3 p.m. start.