GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina overcame an early deficit to come back and defeat Southern Miss, 6-3, here Friday night in a Conference USA series opener at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Golden Eagles (24-20 overall, 13-6 C-USA) got two hits each from Travis Creel, Isaac Rodriguez and Dillon Day, as the team had a three-game winning streak snapped. Game two of the series is set to take place, Saturday, at 1 p.m., CT.
The visitors jumped out to a 3-0 in the top of the fourth. After Bradley Roney was hit by a pitch and Blake Brown walked to start the inning, Tim Lynch put down a perfect sacrifice bunt down before Chase Fowler walked to load the bases.
Day, the current C-USA Hitter of the Week, then blasted a Hoffman pitch down to first that ricocheted off ECU's Chase McDonald for an RBI single. Austin Roussel then added a sacrifice fly before Isaac Rodriguez knocked in the final run with a single.
McDonald, though, cut the gap in the bottom of the frame for ECU with a two-run home run to leftfield for his seventh of the season. Bryan Bass tied the score with a sacrifice fly later in the inning and Jack Reinheimer put the Pirates (25-21, 9-7) up for good with a run-scoring single.
Ben Fultz then added another run for ECU in the fifth on a run-scoring double and Travis Watkins completed the scoring later in the frame on a sacrifice fly.
Jeff Hoffman (5-5) went seven innings and allowed three runs on six hits with five walks and five strikeouts to capture the victory, while Jake Drehoff (2-5) lasted four-plus innings and gave up five runs on nine hits with two walks and a strikeout to suffer the loss.
Drew Reynolds pitched the ninth to register his 12th save of the season.