Coming into the weekend series against East Carolina, South Florida had accumulated only four wins on the road. Meanwhile ECU had not drop a home series the entire season. All of that changed as the Bulls took two of three against the Pirates, which now has ECU sitting two and a half games behind the conference leader Tulane.
Game one for the Pirates did not go exactly as planned, but a 14-run offensive explosion helped to salvage a rare poor start from Evan Kruczynski. The Pirates went on to win game one 14-7. The rest of the weekend would not be in favor of ECU as the Bulls shut down the Pirates.
After a 14-run game ECU only scored one run in game two. Jimmy Boyd pitched well and had a chance for a complete game in the ninth, but the Bulls did not go down quietly in the ninth. Luke Borders smashed a three-run home run off of Joe Ingle after he came in to relieve Boyd. Ingle was tagged for two runs and Evan Voliva came in to retire the Bulls. The Bulls sat down the Pirates quickly in the bottom of the ninth and won 5-1.
Borders continued to mash the ball against the Pirates in game three, hitting another home run. In the two wins against ECU, Borders hit six for nine with two home runs, four RBI and a walk. But the Pirates drove in five runs in the second inning to take a 5-1 lead early. The Bulls gradually came back and it started with a two-run home run from Joe Genord that got the Bulls within two in the third. South Florida second baseman Kevin Merrill then hit a two-RBI double in the fifth to tie the game and then the Bulls took the lead with a run scored in the sixth. After scoring five in the second, the Pirates did not plate another run and lost the game, and series, 6-5.
Tulane took two games against Memphis and now stand atop of the conference standings at 13-6. The Pirates are second at 12-8-1 and take on Central Florida this upcoming weekend to finish the conference regular season.
Central Florida is tied with Memphis and South Florida at the bottom of the American Athletic Conference. The Knights have a good success in Orlando, where the series will be played this weekend, with an 18-9 record at home. Conference leader Tulane travels to Houston to take on the Cougars. Tulane and Houston split its two game series a few weeks ago in New Orleans.