ORLANDO, Fla. – All nine starters for East Carolina tallied at least one base knock while the Pirates plated 10 runs in the fourth inning to secure a 12-7 series-opening win over UCF Thursday night in American Athletic Conference play.

With the win the Pirates improved to 20-15 on the season and 5-2 in league play, while the Knights dropped to 21-13 and 5-3.

Trailing 6-2 after three innings of play, the Pirates registered 10 hits and put a 10-spot on the board taking a 12-6 lead and never looked back. ECU opened the frame with three consecutive base knocks in Alec Makarewicz’ double, Bryson Worrell’s single and Ben Newton’s RBI single before the first out was recorded. Two batters later Lane Hoover singled home Worrell and after Josh Moylan reached on a Knights error, Cam Clonch plated Newton on a sac fly.

From that moment, ECU tallied six two-out hits that led to seven runs. Jacob Jenkins-Cowart plated Hoover with an RBI single through the right side, which was followed by and EVI single by Jacob Starling, a two-RBI base knock up the middle from Makarewicz and a two-run homer by Worrell – his fourth of the season. Newton kept the inning going when he was hit by a pitch, Agnos singled to right field and Hoover recorded his second hit of the frame with a shot to right field before Agnos was thrown out at the plate giving the Pirates a six-run advantage, 12-6.

Ryder Giles (4-0) picked up the win allowing six tuns (two earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts in five innings before the game was delay one-hour and three minutes for lighting in the area. When play resumed, Garrett Saylor took over pitching the final four frames where he allowed one run (earned) on three hits with four punchouts notching his third save of the year.

Connor Staine (4-1) took the loss after he was touched for seven runs (four earned) on nine hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 3.1 innings. The Knights would use four arms out of the bullpen in Ben Vespi (0.1 IP, 4 Hs, 5 Rs), Chase Centala (1.1 IP, 4 Hs, 3 Ks), Dominic Castellano (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K) and Jacob Marlowe (2.0 IP, 1 K, 2 BBs, 1 K).

UCF jumped out to an early 2-0 lead pushing across a pair of runs across in the first. Gephry Pena reached on a lead-off double to shallow center, took third on Alex Freeland’s ground out and scored on Noah Orlando’s grounder to second. Lex Boedicker plated the second run with a solo shot to right-center, the first of his career.

Starling’s fourth home run of the season knotted the game at two-all in the second inning. Jenkins-Cowart walked to begin the stanza and came around to score on Starling’s no-doubter to left field giving Staine his first earned runs of the season.

The Knights took a 6-2 lead after a four-run third frame on three hits and a pair of ECU errors. With the bases loaded and two outs, Ben McCabe laced a single back up the middle pushing across Pena and Orlando. Andrew Sundean followed with an RBI single to right pushing across Boedicker and Sundean would also touch home on an ECU throwing miscue.
UCF scored a run in the eighth inning thanks to Michael Brooks’ sac fly capping the scoring at 12-7.

ECU’s offense pounded out a season-high 19 hits getting multiple from seven starters in Agnos (two), Hoover (two), Jenkins-Cowart (two), Makarewicz (three), Newton (three), Starling (two) and Worrell (three). Starling drove in a career-best three runs, while Hoover, Makarewicz and Worrell each plated a pair.

The Pirates’ 10-run fourth were the most runs they have scored in an inning since plating 11 against N.C. Central (second frame) in a 30-4 win back in 2010. Their 10 hits are the most since the 2004 campaign.

The two clubs will continue the series Friday with a 6 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch and will be streamed on ESPN+.