GREENVILLE — A 2-run homer by Jacob Jenkins-Cowart in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted East Carolina to a 5-4 win over visiting Duke on Tuesday night.
Jenkins-Cowart hit his ninth homer of the season after Lane Hoover had singled to left center with one out. Jenkins-Cowart hit the next pitch from reliever Josh Allen to the fence in left. R.J. Schreck appeared to have made a catch momentarily, but the ball became dislodged as he hit the fence and went out of Clark-LeClair Stadium to give the hosts a 5-3 advantage.
ECU improved to 31-18 with its seventh straight win.
The Blue Devils (20-27) closed within 5-4 on Chad Knight’s RBI single in the ninth.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by Bryson Worrell. Duke tied the score in the third on an RBI infield single by Schreck.
Worrell’s solo homer to left in the bottom of the third gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead.
The Blue Devils took a 3-2 lead in the fourth with Trevor Johnson’s RBI single through the right side providing the go-ahead run.
Doubles by Josh Moylan and Justin Wilcoxen allowed ECU to tie the score at 3 in the bottom of the fourth.
Jenkins-Cowart, Worrell and Moylan had two hits each as the Pirates outhit Duke, 9-5.
Garrett Saylor (4-3) got the win with three and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief. Carter Spivey picked up his fourth save.
ECU swept the season series with Duke, including a 12-2 win in Durham on March 1.
ECU leads the American Athletic Conference with a 14-4 record. The Pirates return to league play at home on Friday at 6:30 p.m. against South Florida (26-22, 6-12 AAC).