HOUSTON, Texas. – Joe Davis and Connor Wong each belted three-run homers, while Connor Hollis added a solo shot helping No. 14 Houston to a21-8 13-3 American Athletic Conference opening series win over East Carolina Friday night at Schroeder Park. With the win, the Cougars improve to 21-8 overall and 2-2 in league play while the Pirates drop to 18-13 and 0-4.
Trey Cumbie (5-0) picked up the win allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts in seven innings of work. Nolan Bond tossed the final two frames in scoreless fashion retiring all six batters he faced.
Jake Agnos (1-2) suffered the loss surrendering three runs (all unearned) on one hits with one strikeout in two-third of an inning of relief. Starter Chris Holba worked an inning-plus allowing a run (earned) on one hit before leaving the game after being struck by a line drive off the bat of Jake Schneider in the second inning. ECU would use four more hurlers out of the bullpen in Joe Ingle (0.2 IP, 6 Rs), Davis Kirkpatrick (2.2 IP, 3 Rs), Luke Bolka (1.1 IP, 4 Rs) and West Covington (1.2 IP, 0 Hs).
Three Cougars tallied double digit hits with Davis and Jared Triolo leading the way with three each. Jake Scheiner added a pair of hits to go along with two runs scored. Wong drove in four runs, while Davis and Ray Fuentes added three.
Bryce Harman and T.J. Riles led the Pirates with two hits, while each driving in a run. Riles scored a pair of runs with Bryant Packard also touching home.
How It Happened:
Trailing 2-0, Houston broke the game open in the bottom half of the second scoring seven runs on four hits and one error, which was highlighted by Davis’ three-run homer. Lael Lockheart and Tyler Bielamowicz each had RBI sac flies, while Grayson Padgett had an RBI single leading up to Davis’ bases clearing shot. During the frame, Holba left the game after being hit by a Lockheart line drive to start the stanza.
ECU scored a pair of runs in the top of the second inning taking an early 2-0 lead. Riles doubled to left-center starting the frame and moved to third on Bolka’s fly out to left field. After Packard walked and Dusty Baker popped out to first on a bunt attempt, Harman doubled down the left field line scoring Riles and putting runners on second and third. Eric Tyler then reached on a throwing error by Triolo at third base, scoring Packard.
Wong’s three-run homer in the third inning extended Houston’s lead to 11-2. Hollis plated Corey Julks on a bases loaded sac fly to right field before Wong belted his fourth homer of the season.
Riles smacked his third home run of the season sending a two-out shot to right center off the scoreboard making it an 11-3 game in the top of the fifth.
But the Cougars kept scoring pushing across a pair of runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and three more in the seventh capping the night at 17-3.
ECU and Houston will play game two of the three-game set on Saturday, April 8 with a 7:30 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.