ECU drops series-opener on the road to Houston

Kruczynski suffers loss as Pirates fall to No. 21 Houston in the first game of a weekend series, 10-1

Hunter Allen and Eric Tyler recorded five of East Carolina’s eight hits, but that wasn’t enough as the Pirates fell to No. 21 Houston 10-1 Friday night in an American Athletic Conference showdown between the co-leaders at Cougar Field.

With the win the Cougars improve to 34-16 on the season and take sole possession of first place in the league with a 12-7 ledger. The Pirates fall to 31-19 overall, 11-8 in league play and are now tied with USF for second place in the standings.

Andrew Lantrip (7-3) picked up the win recording nine strikeouts in eight innings of work where he allowed one run (earned) on eight hits. The right-hander fanned multiple batters in the first, second, fourth and eight innings, while striking out one in the sixth to account for all nine punch-outs. Aaron Fletcher worked a perfect ninth getting a fly out, ground out and strikeout in the Cougars victory.

Evan Kruczynski (6-4) suffered the loss working 5.1 innings where he allowed five runs (all earned) on six hits with four walks and a pair of strikeouts. David Lucroy gave up a run (earned) on two hits with a walk in 1.2 innings of relief work, while Jimmy Boyd was touched for four runs (all earned) on five hits in one inning out of the bullpen.

Houston’s 10-hit outburst was highlighted by Corey Julks three-hit performance on the night. Chris Iriart, Ian Rice and Josh Vidales each added a pair of hits, while four others chipped in with a base knock apiece. Half of the Cougars 10 hits went for extra bases with Connor Wong delivering a two-run shot in the sixth inning.

Allen recorded his third-straight three-hit game pushing his season total to a team-high 56 base knocks. Tyler added a pair of hits, while Luke Lowery, Travis Watkins and Charlie Yorgen had one each. Lowery scored the Pirates lone run on his 10th homer of the season, which came in the sixth inning.

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