GREENVILLE, N.C. – Junior RHP Josh Grosz struck out a career-high 10 batters in five scoreless innings to set the tone Sunday evening as No. 9 East Carolina closed out the 20th annual Keith LeClair Classic with an 11-2 victory over Georgetown at Clark-LeClair Stadium. 

The Pirates (7-3) won their third-straight weekend series to open the 2023 campaign while the Hoyas lost all three outings in Greenville to drop to 6-5 overall.  

Grosz (1-0) did not allow a hit in his five innings of work, exiting the game after 99 pitches and putting together the second-longest outing of his ECU tenure. The Pirates handed Georgetown starter Jake Bloss (1-1) his first loss of the campaign as the righty surrendered three runs (all earned) on six hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.  

Justin Wilcoxen produced a sparkling performance in all aspects, going 3-for-4 with a run scored while adding 14 putouts. Josh Moylan was a force at the dish as well, notching two hits, scoring two runs and driving in four. Jake Hyde paced his squad with a hit and RBI.  

East Carolina utilized a Moylan double and Joey Berini RBI single to grab an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. The Pirates followed the same script in the third as a Cam Clonch two-bagger and Jacob Starling single to shallow center pushed the advantage to a pair. Alec Makarewicz then unloaded on a 2-1 offering with two outs in the fourth and sent it sailing over the right field wall to make it 3-0.  

The game settled in from there as neither club dented the scoreboard in the fifth, sixth or seventh frames. Georgetown got right back into it in the top of the eighth when Hyde led off the inning with a solo home run to right field. After Christian Ficca and Owen Carapellotti walked and doubled consecutively with one away, Zaid Walker drove in Ficca with a sac fly to cut the ECU advantage to 3-2. East Carolina reliever Willie Lumpkin kept the lead intact by inducing a fly ball to right to retire the side.  

The Pirates left little doubt in the home half of the eighth, touching up the visitors for eight runs on four hits and a pair of Hoya errors. The knockout blow occurred in the form of a Moylan grand slam after a two-run single by Ryley Johnson and a Starling bases-loaded walk accounted for three of the tallies in the frame. Jaden Winter was solid in the ninth, sitting down all three batters he faced to close out the contest. 

Postgame Notes Graphic
  • East Carolina improved to 45-15 all time in the LeClair Classic.
  • The Pirates started a season with a 7-3 record for the sixth time since 2016.
  • ECU improved to 6-1 at home.
  • The East Carolina pitching staff matched its season high with 14 strikeouts and have fanned double-digit batters in five games.
  • The Pirates went 6-for-14 (.459) with runners in scoring position.
  • ECU racked up double-digit hits for the fifth time in 2023.

Up Next: East Carolina kicks off a five-game week Tuesday (March 7) with a neutral site game against Queens University at Atrium Health Park in Kannapolis, N.C. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.