GREENVILLE, N.C. – Junior RHP Josh Grosz tossed the first complete-game shutout for East Carolina since 2021 Sunday as the 10th-ranked Pirates completed a series sweep of George Mason by a 5-0 score at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. The contest was called in the middle of the eighth inning due to ongoing rain and lightning in the area.
ECU (19-5) continued its utter dominance at home, winning its 12th-straight decision inside the friendly confines to improve to 16-1 at the facility. The Patriots (11-12) head back to Fairfax having lost four straight. The Pirates also won their sixth-straight weekend series to begin the season and registered their fourth series sweep.
A quartet of Pirates were responsible for eight of East Carolina’s 11 hits as Jacob Starling, Justin Wilcoxen, Joey Berini and Carter Cunningham each finished with two. Wilcoxen added two runs scored and an RBI, extending his current hitting streak to 11 games in the process. South Trimble went 2-for-3 to pace the visitors.
Grosz (4-0) remained undefeated on the mound, tossing a career-high eight innings while scattering five hits and striking out five against one walk. Konner Eaton (0-1) marked the third-straight George Mason pitcher to suffer its first loss of the campaign as the Pirates touched him up for three runs on eight hits.
The Patriots put up an early offensive threat, getting their leadoff hitter to second with no outs when Trimble singled on the first pitch of the contest and moved to second on a passed ball. However, Grosz worked out of trouble by inducing a pop up in front of the mound before Trimble was caught in a rundown between third and home and Ryan Archiba popped up to shallow right field.
A double play turned by the George Mason defense in the bottom of the second looked to have cancelled out a Starling leadoff single, but Berini took a 1-1 offering the other way and deposited it over the left field wall to put ECU on top by a 1-0 margin. The defense ensured that the lead stayed intact in the third. With one away, Jacob Jenkins-Cowart threw a dime to the plate from right field to erase Alex Knapp’s attempt to score from second on a single and Wilcoxen threw out Trimble on a steal attempt to end the frame.
ECU tacked on a pair of runs to its advantage in the bottom of the fourth. Starling laced a single up the middle to lead things off and advanced to second on a passed ball. Wilcoxen then ripped a single to right to score Starling before crossing home himself on a Cunningham double and Alec Makarewicz groundout.
Josh Moylan capped the scoring in the bottom of the seventh, sending a rocket over the center field wall for his second home run of the season. Grosz then worked around a leadoff single in the top of the eighth to preserve the shutout.
- Grosz tossed the first complete-game shutout for East Carolina since Gavin Williams blanked Memphis 12-0 in seven innings back on May 28, 2021 at the American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship.
- Starling now leads the club with 11 multi-hit efforts.
- Lane Hoover notched a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
- The Pirates tallied double-digit hits in all three games of the series and has done it 15 times this season.
- East Carolina improved to 15-0 when hitting at least one home run. The Pirates hit two in each game this weekend to up their season total to 27.
- ECU was 2-for-3 with a runner on third and less than two outs.
Up Next: East Carolina hosts UNCW Tuesday (March 28) at 6 p.m.