GREENVILLE, N.C. – No. 9 East Carolina grabbed an early lead Friday night and kept the pedal down, coasting to a 17-4 win over Indiana to kick off the 20th annual Keith LeClair Classic at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The Pirates (6-2) are slated to face Long Beach State Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The Dirtbags routed Georgetown 18-3 in Friday’s opening contest.

Trey Yesavage (1-0) was dialed in from the start, finishing with a career-high 11 strikeouts in six innings of work to snag his first victory of the campaign. He limited the Hoosiers (4-5) to one run on four hits in a 111-pitch outing. Ben Seiler (0-2) took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits with three walks and no strikeouts.

Luke Nowak sparked the offensive outburst with a 3-for-3 performance from the leadoff spot, adding three runs scored, an RBI and two walks for good measure. Jacob Jenkins-Cowart also turned in a three-hit effort to go along with a run scored and three RBI while Jacob Starling drove in six runs as part of a 2-for-4 showing. Phillip Glasser topped the visitors at the dish with a four-hit night.

Nowak drew a leadoff walk in the home half of the first, reached third via a Jenkins-Cowart double and scored on a Justin Wilcoxen sacrifice fly to stake East Carolina to an early 1-0 advantage. With Yesavage dealing, the Pirates added on with a pair of runs in the second. Lane Hoover and Alec Makarewicz singled consecutively to lead things off before a wild pitch eventually plated Hoover from third to make it 2-0. An infield single off the bat of Nowak then allowed Josh Moylan to scoot home and extend the lead to three.

Indiana broke onto the scoreboard in the top of the third with a two-out Phillip Glasser home run just to the left of the scoreboard in right-center. The Hoosiers attempted to tack on, but with runners at first and second in the fourth, Yesavage induced a fielder’s choice force out and a grounder to short to terminate the threat.

ECU started to pour it on in the fourth inning as Starling hit a one-out laser over the wall in left-center for a three-run home run to push the Pirates ahead 6-1. East Carolina then put up a five spot in the fifth as Starling cleared the bases with a three-run double and Wilcoxen followed with a two-run homer to right field to give ECU a 10-run cushion.

A three-run long ball by Jenkins-Cowart, as well as a Carter Cunningham RBI single and fielder’s choice RBI from the bat of Connor Rasmussen, made the score 17-3 in the eighth before Indiana plated one last consolation run in the top of the ninth.

Postgame Notes Graphic
  • East Carolina improved to 44-14 all-time in the LeClair Classic and notched its eighth-straight win in the event.
  • The Pirates remained unbeaten at home (5-0) in 2023.
  • ECU pitchers combined to strike out a season-best 14 hitters.
  • East Carolina was 7-for-18 (.389) with runners in scoring position and 4-for-5 (.800) with a runner on third and less than two outs.
  • Yesavage became the first Pirate pitcher since Gavin Williams in 2021 to strike out at least 10 batters in a game. Williams fanned 13 in game one of the NCAA Nashville Super Regional – a 2-0 loss to Vanderbilt on June 11, 2021.
  • Starling is the first ECU batter to drive in six runs in a game since Spencer Brickhouse did so in game one of a doubleheader against Houston on April 6, 2019 – a 15-3 ECU victory.
  • Freshman Nathan Chrismon, who started the game at shortstop, notched his first collegiate base hit in the fourth inning on a bunt single.