East Carolina Eliminates St. John's From Charlottesville Regional
CHARLOTTESVILLE – East Carolina defeated St. John’s 6-4 in an elimination game at the Charlottesville Regional on Sunday afternoon at Davenport Field. The Pirates advance to the championship game of the regional against No. 1 national seed Virginia, while the Red Storm had its season come to an end.
Reliever Brad Mincey (6-4) got the win for East Carolina, allowing one run on two hits while pitching the final five innings. Eddie Medina (3-2) took the loss for St. John’s, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits during his 3.1 innings in relief.
Corey Thompson led the Pirates offensively, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. John Wooten had two hits for ECU. St. John’s was led by Matt Wessinger, who had two hits and scored two runs.
East Carolina (41-20) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Chase McDonald led off with a walk and came around to score on a two-out RBI single by Jack Reinheimer.
The Pirates extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the third. After a leadoff walk by Philip Clark, Thompson hit a two-run homer to left. It was his sixth homer of the season.
The Red Storm (36-22) got on the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the third. Wessinger led off with a single and an error on a fielder’s choice play allowed him to reach second safely. Wessinger moved to third on a throwing error on a pickoff play and scored on Jimmy Brennan’s infield single. After a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third, Joe Panik was intentionally walked to load the bases. Jeremy Baltz followed and was hit by a pitch to force in a run.
St. John’s added a run in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. With one out, Wessinger hit a ball over the rightfielder’s head for a triple. He scored on Frankie Schwindel’s double down the leftfield line.
East Carolina retook the lead, 4-3, in the top of the fifth. Thompson hit a one-out single and Trent Whitehead reached on an error. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Thompson scored on McDonald’s RBI groundout.
The Pirates added another run in the top of the sixth to make the score 5-3. A single by Wooten and walks to Ben Fultz and Reinheimer loaded the bases with one out. Wooten scored as Clark successfully bunted on the squeeze play.
St. John’s closed to within one run at 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh. The bases were loaded with one out when Baltz hit a ball to third. Thompson tagged the bag for one out, but Baltz beat the throw to first to negate the double play and allow Mike Lonsdale to score.
East Carolina added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, taking a 6-4 lead. Wooten doubled to right, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Mike Ussery’s RBI single.
The Pirates will meet Virginia in the championship game of the regional at 6 p.m. If the Cavaliers win, they will advance to next weekend’s super regional. If East Carolina wins, it will force a decisive game on Monday.