MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Jacob Jenkins-Cowart registered a career-high four hits pacing East Carolina’s 16-hit attack in a series sweeping 15-1 win over Memphis Sunday afternoon at FedEx Park.
The Pirates improved to 30-18 on the season and 14-4 in American Athletic Conference play, while the Tigers dropped to 21-24 and 5-13.
The Pirates, who earned their fifth AAC series win and third sweep, scored two runs in the first, one in each of the third and fourth, six in the eighth and five in the ninth keeping its two-game lead in the league standings.
Danny Beal (3-1) earned the win tossing 1.2 scoreless frames in relief with a pair of walks and one strikeout. Starter Jake Hunter allowed just one run (earned) on three hits with three punchouts in four full frames. ECU would use four additional pitchers out of the bullpen in Ben Terwilliger (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB), Carter Spivey (0.2 IP), Josh Grosz (1.0 IP, 1 K) and Merritt Beeker (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K).
Connor Shamblin (2-2) suffered the loss allowing three runs (all earned) on four this with three strikeouts in his three innings of work. The Tigers got pitching efforts from six hurlers in JT Durham (3.2 IP, 3 Hs, 1 R), Chase Kessinger (0.1 IP, 1 BB), Daniel Casto (0.0 IP, 3 Hs, 3 Rs), Jacob Gilmore (0.2 IP, 3 Hs, 3 Rs, 2 BB, 1 K), Ben Higdon (0.1 IP, 1 K) and Logan Kohler (1.0 IP, 3 Hs, 5 Rs, 2 BB, 1 K).
For the second-straight day the Pirates jumped out to an early lead pushing across two runs in the top of the first for a 2-0 advantage. With two away, Jenkins-Cowart singled to right field and came around to score on Bryson Worrell’s double to left field where he took third on the throw home. After Jacob Starling was hit by a pitch putting runners on the corners, Ben Newton easily plated Worrell with a single through the right side.
Memphis responded with a run in the home half of the first cutting the lead in half, 2-1. With two outs, Ben Brooks sent a 1-0 offering from Hunter over the left-field wall for his third home run of the season.
Worrell’s sac fly in the third pushed the Pirates lead back to two, 3-1. Jenkins-Cowart doubled to left-center with one out and moved to third on a Shamblin wild pitch. Worrell plated his second run of the contest with a deep fly ball to center allowing Jenkins-Cowart to tag up from third.
ECU continued to add to its lead scoring a run in the fourth for a 4-1 advantage. Josh Moylan laced a one-out single to right then took second and third on a pair of Durham wild pitches. On the second wild pitch, catcher Taylor Howell overthrew the third baseman on the play sending the ball into right field allowing Moylan to cross home.
The Pirates put the game away in the eighth scoring six two-out runs for a 10-1 advantage. Starling’s two-RBI double, Newton’s RBI base and Zach Agnos’ two-RBI single highlighted the frame. Jenkins-Cowart laced his third hit of the day with a double down the right-field line and moved to third on Worrell’s infield single. After a wild pitch by Casto moved Worrell into scoring position and with the Memphis infield in, Starling doubled down the left-field line clearing the bases. Newton tallied his second base knock of the game with a shot back up the middle scoring Starling. Agnos followed with a two-RBI base hit back up the middle scoring Newton and Moylan before Jenkins-Cowart registered his second hit of the frame with an RBI single through the left side pushing across Agnos.
ECU capped the scoring by plating five runs in the ninth on three hits making it a 15-1 ball game. Justin Wilcoxen had an RBI single; Agnos drove in a pair with a double down the right line, Lane Hoover’s ground out to second pushed across a run and Carter Cunningham plated Agnos with an infield single to second.
Jenkins-Cowart led six Pirates with multiple hits going 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored. Agnos, Moylan, Newton, Wilcoxen and Worrell each added two. Agnos led the club with four RBI, while seven others plated at least one with Starling, Newton and Worrell driving in a pair.
ECU returns home for the first of eight consecutive games at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium to close out the 2022 regular season. First pitch on Tuesday, May 10 against Duke is slated for 6:30 p.m. (ET) and will be streamed on ESPN+.