GREENVILLE — No. 12 East Carolina hit six home runs on Tuesday night, including three by Jacob Jenkins-Cowart, in a 13-9 win over N.C. State before the second largest crowd in Clark-LeClair Stadium history.
The Pirates (21-8) scored three runs in the sixth inning, including a 2-run homer by Jenkins-Cowart, to take a 10-7 lead.
Sophomore right-hander Jake Hunter (2-1) protected the advantage as he pitched the final four and one-third innings.
“We challenged the offense,” said ECU coach Cliff Godwin on the ECU radio network. “We hadn’t been performing at the level we wanted to and, man, they were awesome.”
There were 5,997 on hand. The largest crowd for an ECU home baseball game was 6,003 for a 6-5 victory over North Carolina on Feb. 24 this season.
Josh Moylan staked the Pirates to a 1-0 lead with a solo homer to right field in the first inning.
“Moylan got the crowd into it,”: Godwin said. “It’s always important to get the crowd into it when you’ve got a big crowd.”
ECU went ahead, 6-2, in the fourth inning on a run-scoring double by Alec Makarewicz, an RBI single by Ryan McCrystal and a 3-run homer to right by Joey Berini.
The Wolfpack (20-9) answered with five runs in the fifth to lead, 7-6.
Jenkins-Cowart sent a blast to right-center in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score at 7.
Jacob Starling had a homer into The Jungle in left on his birthday in the seventh for an 11-7 lead.
The left-handed hitting Jenkins-Cowart launched a 2-run homer to right on a breaking pitch in the eighth.
Parker Nolan hit a 2-run homer for the Wolfpack with two out in the ninth.
Hunter allowed three hits and two runs (both earned) while striking out five without a walk.
“It was important to get some length out of the bullpen,” Godwin said.
Left-hander Rio Britton (1-1) took the loss.
Jenkins-Cowart finished with five RBIs.
“Just really trusted the plan that the coaches put together for us,” said the Pirate right fielder. “They put a good plan together, obviously — we scored 13 runs. Just executing what they were giving us.”
No ECU player had hit three dingers in a game since Corey Kemp on March 22, 2008, at Houston. The Pirates were efficient offensively with 11 hits and only three left on base.
ECU returns to American Athletic Conference play at home on Thursday at 6 p.m. (ESPN+) against Central Florida. The Pirates are 1-2 in league play after a road series at Houston. The Knights (17-12) are also 1-2 in the AAC following a series at home against South Florida.
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