East Carolina Defeats Navy 6-1 in Charlottesville Regional
CHARLOTTESVILLE – East Carolina defeated Navy 6-1 in an elimination game in the Charlottesville Regional on Saturday at Davenport Field. The Pirates (40-20) will play the Virginia-St. John’s loser in another elimination game on Sunday, while the Midshipmen (33-25-1) see their season come to an end.
Seth Maness pitched a complete game for the Pirates, allowing one unearned run on five hits and striking out four. He improved to 10-3 this season. Sam Long (5-6) took the loss for Navy, allowing three runs on five hits in six-plus innings.
Chase McDonald went 2-for-4, highlighted by a seventh-inning grand slam that broke the game open, to lead East Carolina offensively. John Wooten also had two hits for the Pirates. As a team, ECU drew 10 walks in the game, with those base runners scoring five of the team’s six runs.
Alex Azor led Navy offensively with two hits.
East Carolina took the lead in the top of the second. McDonald doubled, Zach Wright walked and Wooten reached on a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Ben Fultz’s flyout to left turned into a double play as Brandon Beans threw out McDonald at home trying to tag up and score. Jack Reinheimer followed with a single to left that scored Wright for the game’s first run.
The Pirates added a run in the third inning to make the score 2-0. Corey Thompson walked, stole second and eventually scored on a two-out error by the Navy second baseman.
In the top of the seventh, East Carolina opened up a 6-0 lead. Three walks loaded the bases for McDonald, who launched a grand slam over the left field wall with two outs. It was his fourth homer of the season.
Navy got one run in the bottom of the ninth. Jeff Bland reached on an error and advanced to third on a single by Nick Driscoll. Bland scored the only run of the afternoon for the Midshipmen on a RBI groundout by Andrew Hahn.
The Charlottesville Regional continues at 6 p.m. Saturday as Virginia, the No. 1 national seed, plays St. John’s in a winner’s bracket game. The loser will play East Carolina in an elimination game on Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner will play at 6 p.m. Sunday against the winner of the day’s first game.