CLEARWATER, FL — Top-seeded East Carolina closed out Cincinnati, 15-5, in seven innings in a winners bracket matchup in the American Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday at BayCare Ballpark.
The Pirates (40-18) have won 16 straight going into a contest on Saturday at 9 a.m. against the winner of a Friday game between No. 5 seed Tulane and 4th-seeded Cincinnati.
ECU had three home runs against the Bearcats (24-30). Bryson Worrell’s 2-run shot closed the game on the mercy rule.
Jacob Jenkins-Cowart had a 3-run homer as the Pirates took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Alec Makarewicz had an RBI single later in the opening frame.
Josh Moylan had an RBI triple for ECU in the third. Cam Clonch had a solo homer in a 3-run fourth.
The Pirates added two runs in the fifth with an RBI single from Zach Agnos, who went 4-for-5. Agnos had a 2-run double in the 5-run seventh before Worrell’s 14th homer of the season came with Lane Hoover aboard.
Garrett Saylor (6-3) earned the win with two scoreless innings. ECU starter Josh Grosz struck out seven in four innings.
The Pirates outhit Cincinnati, 17-6. Hoover was 3-for-5 and scored three runs for ECU.