The ECU baseball team needed two things to happen Saturday to win its first outright regular-season Conference USA championship since 2004. First, the 20th-ranked Pirates’ hot streak at the plate had to continue against Memphis at Clark-LeClair Stadium. And second, Rice had to lose in their season finale against UAB.
Both did, and ECU ended the season in dramatic fashion to claim the Pirates' second regular-season championship in five years.
Head coach Billy Godwin led the Pirates to a 40–15 record and regular-season Conference USA championship.
ECU led Memphis 11–2 in the seventh inning Saturday, as senior Brandon Henderson stepped to the plate. His two-run homer enacted the 10-run rule, which ended the game as he crossed the plate with the Pirates 13–2 winners.
ECU’s victory over Memphis completed a season-ending three-game sweep of the Tigers, and catapulted the Pirates into a first-place tie with the Rice Owls who were in the middle of their game with UAB. A Rice loss would give the Pirates the title, while an Owl win would take the trophy to Houston.
Shortly after ECU’s victory, UAB came alive, outscoring the Owls 14–4 in the final five innings to claim a 15–12 win and to give the Pirates the championship.
For ECU, it is the third Conference USA championship won this year. The baseball team joins the women’s soccer team and the football team as regular season champions in their respective sports.
ECU will next play on Wednesday, May 20, at the Conference USA tournament in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The top-seeded Pirates will play eighth-seeded UCF at 4 p.m.