CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WNCT) — With two swings, Virginia not only took the lead against East Carolina, it also secured a trip to the Super Regionals.
The Cavaliers connected on two three-run homers, the first in the seventh inning and then again in the eighth. Those two moments helped lift Virginia to an 8-3 win over East Carolina in the Charlottesville Regional final on Sunday.
The win puts Virginia (47-12) in a best-of-3 Super Regional for the second time in three years. ECU, the American Athletic Conference champions, saw its season end at 47-19.
The Pirates led 2-1 after Justin Wilcoxen singled in Jacob Jenkins-Cowart in the fourth inning. The lead stuck until the seventh when Virginia uncorked the first of its two three-run blasts. Ethan O’Donnell connected off a pitch from Landon Ginn for a shot to left-center that also scored Colin Tuft and Henry Godbout. That gave Virginia the lead for good at 4-2.
Virginia’s second three-run blast came in the eighth off Carter Spivey. Anthony Stephan hit a homer to center that scored Casey Saucke and Kyle Teel. That gave Virginia a 7-2 lead and enough momentum to close out the game.
Wilcoxen singled in Cam Clonch in the eighth for the Pirates, the final run they would score before Virginia closed it out. That cut the margin to 7-3. Teel hit a solo homer in the top of the ninth to push Virginia’s lead to 8-3.
Virginia, which was the visiting team in Sunday’s game, scored first on a double by Teel that drove in Jake Gelof. The Pirates answered right back on a sacrifice fly by Josh Moylan that scored Jacob Starling, knotting the game at 1-1.
East Carolina started Sunday with an 8-5 win over Oklahoma to reach the regional final and the rematch with Virginia. ECU went 2-2 in the regional, beating Oklahoma 14-5 on Friday before falling 2-1 to Virginia on Saturday.