GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — 20 and counting. All the way to the regional final.
The East Carolina University baseball team picked up its nation’s-best 20th straight victory and advanced to the Greenville Regional final on Saturday. A two-run second inning and some insurance runs after Virginia tried to rally enabled the Pirates to pick up a 4-2 victory in front of 5,603, the largest crowd to ever attend a game at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
ECU (44-18), the NCAA Tournament No. 8 seed, is one win away from hosting a Super Regional for the second time ever and first at ECU. The Pirates will face the winner of Sunday’s 1 p.m. game between Virginia (39-18) and Coastal Carolina (37-19-1) on Sunday at 6 p.m. Virginia beat Coastal Carolina 7-2 Friday night.
ECU took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Josh Moylan homered to right to drive in Jacob Jenkins-Cowart, who reached on a throwing error.
Virginia got one of those runs back in the fifth when Chris Newell homered to center. ECU responded in the bottom half of the inning when Justin Wilcoxen homered to right.
Both teams scored again in the seventh. Kyle Teel walked, moved to third on a double by Casey Sauke and scored when Ethan Anderson grounded out. The Pirates responded in the bottom half of the frame when Alec Makarecicz, who walked, later scored on a sacrifice fly by Zach Agnos.
The Pirates survived a shaky ninth inning where Virginia loaded the bases with one out. Agnos came on in relief and struck out Newell and Max Cotier to end it and set off the celebration.
C.J. Mayhue (5-1) picked up the win, pitching five innings. He gave up a run on three hits with two strikeouts. Brian Gursky (7-3) who gave up the two home runs to the Pirates, took the loss. He gave up three runs, two earned, on six hits with two strikeouts.
2022 NCAA GREENVILLE REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Game 5: (3) Coastal Carolina 7, (2) Virginia 6, Virginia eliminated
Game 6: (1) East Carolina vs. (3) Coastal Carolina, 6 p.m.
Game 7: (1) East Carolina vs. (3) Coastal Carolina, 1 p.m., if necessary