GREENVILLE, N.C. – North Carolina won a low-scoring affair over No. 14 East Carolina Wednesday evening, picking up a 2-1 victory in front of 5,991 at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Pirates (31-14) out-hit the Tar Heels (29-17) 4-3 but was just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
Dalton Pence (4-1) collected the win, allowing just one hit over two innings with two walks and a strikeout. Jake Hunter (3-2) was tagged with the loss, yielding the go-ahead run in the sixth as he pitched 0.2 frames.
Jacob Jenkins-Cowart notched one of ECU’s base hits and drove in the Pirates’ only run while Vance Honeycutt’s 12th home run of the season afforded the visitors an early lead in the fourth.
Garrett Saylor was sensational in a starting role for East Carolina, retiring 10 of the first 11 batters he faced, but surrendered the game’s first run on Honeycutt’s blast to left field with one away in the fourth. Starling led off the home half of the inning with a single to center and would eventually score on Jenkins-Cowart’s one-out single through the right side.
North Carolina loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth via a walk, error and Mac Horvath single to right, but scored just one run on a fielder’s choice play to grab a 2-1 advantage as Carter Spivey limited the damage with a fly ball to center and a strikeout.
East Carolina could not get much going offensively in the final few frames as Max Carlson completed his first save of the campaign by throwing three scoreless innings.
- Despite the setback, ECU won the season series with North Carolina via a pair of 6-5 victories back in February.
- The announced attendance of 5,991 in the third largest in facility history.
- East Carolina fell to 26-4 at home in 2023.
- The Pirate pitching staff struck out double-digit batters (11) for the 23rd time this season.
Up Next: East Carolina visits Cincinnati May 5-7 for a three-game American Athletic Conference series.