East Carolina used six longballs to propel themselves to a 13-9 victory over NC State on Tuesday night in Greenville. Jacob Jenkins-Cowart accounted for three of those home runs, driving in five runs.
The win moves ECU to 21-8 on the year, including 3-1 against ACC teams (two wins over UNC, one loss to Duke). The Wolfpack fall to 20-9.
The Pirates got out to an early lead on a 1st inning Josh Moylan solo home run. The game moved pretty quietly from there until NC State was finally able to answer in the 3rd inning via a Gino Groover sacrifice fly to score Carter Trice, who led off the inning with a single. Trice would push the Pack into the lead in the top of the 4th inning on a single to score Will Marcy. A leadoff walk put Marcy on base, before he put himself in scoring position with a stolen base.
Each team would plate five runs in their next respective half-innings at the dish, with all ten of those combined runs occurring with two outs. ECU’s five runs all came after a misplayed ball by Trice on an Alex Makarewicz pop up behind shortstop, allowing one run to score and the inning to continue. Ryan McCrystal plated another run with a single before 9-hole hitter Joey Berini launched a 3-run home run to cap the inning.
NC State had a big response in the top of the 5th. Groover, Jacob Cozart, Chase Nixon, Parker Nolan, Eli Serrano, Trice, and Kalae Harrison strung together seven straight singles to plate the five runs and put the Pack back in the lead at 7-6.
That lead was short lived, though, as Jenkins-Cowart cranked his first home run of the game to lead off the bottom half of the frame. The Pirates would add three more runs in the 6th inning on a Lane Hoover RBI groundout and Jenkins-Cowart’s second home run of the game. Jacob Starling got in on the action with ECU’s 5th home run of the game in the bottom of the 7th, and then Jenkins-Cowart struck again in the 8th with yet another home run to push ECU out to a 13-7 lead.
Nolan did tack on a two-run home run with two out in the 9th, but it was too little too late by then.
Trice (4-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, SB) had a great day at the plate, although his error (officially ruled a double by Makarewicz) was a costly blunder for the Wolfpack. Nolan (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) and Nixon (2-for-3, 2 R, RBI) both continued their hot hitting.
Next up for NC State is a conference series at #2 Wake Forest. First pitch Friday from Winston-Salem is set for 6:00pm.