GREENVILLE, N.C. – No. 12 East Carolina utilized the long ball six times Tuesday evening to propel itself past NC State 13-9 in a marquee non-conference contest at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The game was played before the second-largest crowd in facility history as 5,997 fans filed through the gates to take in the affair.
The Pirates (21-8) hit a season-high six home runs of which three were off the bat of Jacob Jenkins-Cowart – the first ECU player to smash a trio of home runs in a single game since Corey Kemp did it at Houston all the way back on March 22, 2008. The Wolfpack (20-9) next head to Winston-Salem for a highly-anticipated Atlantic Coast Conference series at No. 2 Wake Forest.
In addition to Jenkins-Cowart, Josh Moylan, Jacob Starling and Joey Berini all left the yard as Jenkins-Cowart and Berini combined for eight RBI. Carter Trice topped the visiting club with a game-high four hits.
Jake Hunter (2-1) earned the win in relief, turning in a campaign-high 4.1 innings while allowing two runs on three hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Rio Britton (1-1) was saddled with the loss, surrendering three runs on two hits in just 1.2 frames.
After East Carolina starter Zach Root needed just six pitched to complete the top of the first, Moylan put the Pirates on the board with a two-out solo blast in the home half. NC State would plate single runs in the third and fourth innings to grab a 2-1 lead, but ECU took advantage of some questionable Wolfpack defense in the bottom of the fourth to put up a five spot and propel ahead 6-2.
Starling laced a one-out single down the left field line before Makarewicz hit a shallow fly to center that the left fielder attempted to snag from about 60 yards away but couldn’t catch up to it as Starling crossed home easily from first to tie the score at two. Carter Cunningham followed by drawing a walk and Ryan McCrystal shot a single through the right side to drive in Makarewicz. Berini then turned on an 0-2 offering and drilled it over the right field wall to cap the outburst.
With two away in the top of the fifth, NC State strung together seven-straight singles to match the Pirates five-run output in the previous half inning to reclaim the upper hand at 7-6. However, Jenkins-Cowart led off the bottom of the frame with his first long ball of the contest to forge another tie score.
With Hunter producing zeros in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, the ECU offense put the game away with a Lane Hoover RBI groundout and three more round trippers.
- East Carolina has won four of the last six matchups with NC State in Greenville.
- The two largest crowds in Clark-LeClair Stadium have occurred in 2023 as 6,003 saw ECU knock off then No. 12 North Carolina on Feb. 24.
- The Pirates’ six home runs are the most in a single game since they defeated Norfolk State 26-6 on March 18, 2009.
- ECU notched double digits in the run column for the eighth time this season and double-figure hits (11) for the 16th time.
- Jenkins-Cowart now leads the team with eight home runs this campaign.