GREENVILLE, N.C. — Tulane sophomore Corey Merrill hurled the team’s first complete game of the season Thursday.
But it was not enough. The Green Wave lost 3-0 to East Carolina at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Tulane (19-11, 1-3) could not muster any offense on the night, as ECU (18-12, 2-2) got an even better performance from its starter, Reid Love, who also pitched a complete game.
Love allowed just four hits while sending Tulane to its third shutout loss of the season.
Merrill (1-3) allowed two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth. That was all Love (3-2) and the Pirates needed on the evening.
“It’s a hard-fought game for Corey,” Tulane coach David Pierce. “He pitched well enough to win the game and he kept us in the game. He got better as the game went along. It just did not work out for us tonight.”
Only senior John Gandolfo and sophomore Hunter Williams collected hits on the night for Tulane, as both went 2-for-3. Williams singled in the second and eighth innings while Gandolfo singled in the fourth and seventh.
Sophomore Lex Kaplan reached on an error in the eighth, but none of the Green Wave base runners made it past first base.
ECU’s Kirk Morgan drove in two on a single through the right side with two outs in the fourth, and Charlie Yorgen brought home Love in the fifth. Love struck out six and walked none.
The game lasted only 1 hour and 55 minutes — the fastest game on the season for Tulane.
Just two days before, the Green Wave played their longest nine-inning game since 2010, defeating UNC Wilmington 8-4 in 3:52.
The Green Wave will look to even the series when the teams return to Clark-LeClair Stadium for the second game of the series at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Tulane’s Emerson Gibbs (3-0, 1.62) will go against ECU left-hander Evan Kruczynski (5-1, 1.27).