GREENVILLE, N.C. – Zach AgnosLane Hoover and Bryson Worrell each collected two hits and drove in a combined four runs, while No. 21 East Carolina’s pitching staff struck out nine with no walks in a 5-3 American Athletic Conference series clinching win over Houston Friday at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the victory, the Pirates improve to 37-18 overall, 19-4 in league play and extended their current win streak to 13 games. The Cougars dropped to 34-21 and 13-10 in AAC action.
The Pirates scored a pair of runs in the first and second innings taking an early 4-0 lead. Agnos belted his sixth home run of the season to lead off the game with a shot to straight-away centerfield. Two batters later, Worrell deposited a 2-0 offering from Kyle Lacalameto over the left field wall for his team-leading 12th round tripper of the year.
In the second frame, Alec Makarewicz drew a one-out walk and crossed home on Agnos’ second hit of the night, a double to center. Hoover followed with a single to right-center pushing across Agnos for the would-be game-winning run and a 4-0 lead.
Josh Grosz (3-5) earned the win allowing two runs (both earned) on three hits with three punch outs in 4.1 innings. Ben Terwilliger notched his second save of the week and fourth of the season tossing two scoreless frames with one strikeout. Trey Yesavage (0.2 IP, 1 K) and Garrett Saylor (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 Ks) also threw out of the Pirates’ bullpen in the game.
Lacalameto (2-3) suffered the loss surrendering three runs (all earned) on three hits with a walk and a pair of strikeouts in 1.2 innings. From the second frame on, the Cougars would use five bullpen arms in Colby Casey (0.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB), Nathan Medrano (2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 Ks), Cameron Prayer (1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 Ks), Logan Clayton (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 Ks) and Ben Sears (1.0 IP, 1 H).
Trailing 4-0 going to the fifth, Ryan Hernandez hit his 12th home of the year finally getting Houston on the board and cutting the lead in half, 4-2. Anthony Tulimero singled through the left side to start the fifth and came around to score on Hernandez’ blast to right field.
Zach Arnold’s RBI single in the sixth pulled the Cougars within one, 4-3. Samuel Tormos reached on an error to get things going and took second on Alex Lopez’s ground out before crossing home on Arnold’s shot to center.
ECU would add a late run in the eighth capping the scoring at 5-3. Jacob Starling singled up the middle to get things going and took second on Makarewicz’ sac bunt. Joey Berini was clutch again in a pinch hitting role singling to center and plating Starling.
Offensively the Pirates tallied 10 hits in the contest marking the second consecutive game with double-digit base knocks. To go along with Agnos, Hoover and Worrell’s two-hit games, Berini, Jacob Jenkins-Cowart, Makarewicz and Starling added one each. Agnos led all Pirates with two RBI and scored a pair of runs, while three others plated a run.
ECU will close out its eight-game home stand and look for its fifth sweep in The American (sixth overall) on Saturday, May 21. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. (ET) and will be streamed on ESPN+.