CLEARWATER, Fla.– It took a little longer and was a little harder than anticipated. However, East Carolina is back in the AAC Tournament final again.
East Carolina took down South Florida, 14-7, on Saturday. With the win, East Carolina (45-16) advances to the Championship final on Sunday at noon ET on ESPNEWS and ESPN+ against the winner of Houston and Tulane. The Bulls conclude their season with a record of 20-39.
East Carolina will make its fifth appearance in the Championship final and won the tournament in 2015, 2018 and 2022. It is the first time in Championship history that a team lost its first game and advanced to the final.
Five Pirates each scored a pair of runs, while Jacob Starling drove in five runs. All nine starters recorded a hit, while Josh Moylan and Jacob Jenkins-Cowart both recorded three hits each.
The Bulls were able to score seven in the first three innings, but were limited to three hits in the final six innings.
Erik Ritchie earned the win for the Pirates, striking out six in 3.2 scoreless innings of work.
Ethan Brown took the loss for the Bulls.
ECU began the day with a 3-1 win over the USF, which forced the second game. The Pirates allowed just two hits and got a solid start from Garrett Saylor to win and force the second game.
2023 American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship presented by Visit St. Pete Clearwater
BayCare Ballpark | Clearwater, Fla.
All Times Eastern
Game 1: No. 4 UCF 4, No. 5 Cincinnati 3
Game 2: No. 8 South Florida 12, No. 1 East Carolina 11 (11 innings)
Game 3: No. 7 Tulane 10, No. 2 Houston 8
Game 4: No. 6 Memphis 10, No. 3 Wichita State 6
Game 5: No. 1 East Carolina 9, No. 5 Cincinnati 6
Game 6: No. 2 Houston 4, No. 3 Wichita State 3
Game 7: No. 8 South Florida 15, No. 4 UCF 4 (8 innings)
Game 8: No. 7 Tulane 12, No. 6 Memphis 2 (8 innings)
Game 9: No. 1 East Carolina 7, No. 4 UCF (13 innings)
Game 10: No. 2 Houston 6, No. 6 Memphis 5
Game 11: No. 1 East Carolina 3, No. 8 South Florida 1
Game 12: No. 2 Houston 11, No. 7 Tulane 8
Game 13: No. 1 East Carolina 14, No. 8 South Florida 7
Game 14: No. 7 Tulane 11, No. 2 Houston 8
Game 15: No. 7 Tulane vs. No. 1 East Carolina | Noon | ESPNEWS and ESPN+