CHARLOTTE, N.C. – No. 7 East Carolina picked up its ninth-straight victory Wednesday night, knocking off Charlotte 6-2 at Truist Field.
The Pirates (29-8) improved to 5-5 on the road in limiting the 49ers’ (19-17) offense to just five hits. Both teams left eight runners on base.
Danny Beal (3-1) was credited with the win in relief, throwing three scoreless innings with six strikeouts. AJ Wilson (0-1) took his first loss of the campaign after surrendering two runs in just 0.1 frames.
Carter Cunningham and Justin Wilcoxen both clubbed home runs as part of two-hit efforts while Wilcoxen drove in three runs and Joey Berini finished with two RBI. Blake Jackson paced the home side with a run scored, hit and RBI off a solo home run in the sixth.
Cunningham put East Carolina on the front foot in the top of the first, drilling the first pitch he saw 413 feet over the wall in left center to make it 1-0. Root followed the blast up with a shutdown frame in the home half, retiring Charlotte in order with a strikeout and two groundouts.
The 49ers threatened in the bottom of the second, loading the bases without the benefit of a hit (two walks and a hit batter). However, Root dug in and got Nolan to swing and miss on an 0-2 count to keep the Pirate lead intact. Charlotte finally broke through in the bottom of the third, using a Jake Cunningham RBI double to knot the score at one.
Wilcoxen gave ECU the lead for good with two outs in the top of the fourth, launching a three-run homer to right center after Cam Clonch singled to lead off the inning and Makarewicz was hit by a pitch with one out. Berini then added some big insurance in the fifth, lacing a two-run single up the middle to score Makarewicz and Luke Nowak from second and third respectively.
The Pirate bullpen took over from there, yielding just one more run in the final four innings. Garrett Saylor turned in another solid relief outing following his return from injury, holding the 49ers scoreless in the last two frames.
- East Carolina notched its 13th-straight win over Charlotte in the teams’ first meeting since 2021.
- The Pirates were especially effective with two outs, going 5-for-14 (.357) and tallying five RBI.
- The ECU pitching staff notched 10 strikeouts, marking the fifth time in the last sixth games it has fanned double-digit opposing batters.
- Wilcoxen upped his team-leading batting average to .351.
- The Pirates stole six bases in the contest – the second most this season in a single game.
Up Next: East Carolina visits Wichita State April 21-23 for an American Athletic Conference series at Eck Stadium.