CA Easytrieve R11.x compiler opens and closes SYSPRINT with C functions: FOPEN and FCLOSE.
There is no way to specify a file close parameter using FCLOSE under release 11.6.
Therefore, FREE=CLOSE cannot be used on //SYSPRINT DD statement under CA Easytrieve release 11.6.
CA Easytrieve release 6.4 compiler opens and closes SYSPRINT with QSAM assembler macros: OPEN and CLOSE.
QSAM macro CLOSE, provides a closing file disposition parameter which allows the use of FREE=CLOSE on the DD for //SYSPRINT.
This is why release 6.4 works with FREE=CLOSE on the DD for //SYSPRINT DD statement.