ORLANDO — East Carolina scored 10 runs in the fourth inning to overcome a 6-2 deficit and defeat host Central Florida, 12-7, in the opener of a 3-game American Athletic Conference series on Thursday night.
The Pirates improved to 20-15 overall and 5-2 in the AAC. The Knights slipped to 21-13 and 5-2 going into the second game of the series on Friday at 6 p.m.
The hosts scored four unearned runs in the third to lead 6-2.
Alec Makarewicz led off the top of the fourth with a double and Bryson Worrell singled. Ben Newton’s RBI single brought ECU within 6-3. Lane Hoover had a hit to score a run with one away. An error by the Knights loaded the bases.
Cam Clonch had a sacrifice fly before consecutive singles by Jacob Jenkins-Cowart, Jacob Starling and Makarewicz preceded a 2-run homer by Worrell for an 11-2 lead. Hoover’s RBI single closed the scoring in the big frame.
Ryder Giles started and went five innings in moving his record to 4-0. Garrett Saylor pitched the last four innings for his third save.
The bottom four in the ECU order — Starling, Makarewicz, Worrell and Newton — combined for 11 hits. eight runs and eight RBIs as the Pirates outhit UCF, 19-10.