East Carolina Rallies to Top Virginia, 8-5, in 10 Innings
Feb. 26, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — East Carolina rallied for a run in the ninth inning and scored three in the 10th to pull out an 8-5 win over the No. 4 Virginia baseball team Friday afternoon in the opener of a three-game series at a chilly Davenport Field.
“East Carolina is a tough team,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “They’re not going to go away. They had very competitive at bats and they battled. They put balls in play and ran the pitch count up. They deserve a lot of credit. A big part of that game was they knocked (Connor) Jones out after five innings after getting his pitch count up. They played the game tough and deserved to win. We’ll have an opportunity to come back tomorrow and show what we’re made of and how we respond.”
Alec Bettinger (Jr., Woodbridge, Va.) took the loss and fell to 0-2 after allowing four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief. ECU reliever Joe Ingle worked two scoreless innings to finish the game to earn the win and improve to 1-0. Ingle and Davis Kirkpatrick combined to limit UVA to a run and four hits over the final six innings.
Virginia starting pitcher Connor Jones (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) battled through five innings, giving up four earned runs, eight hits and two walks while fanning eight. ECU starter Evan Kruczynski pitched four innings, allowing four runs, seven hits and two walks while striking out four.
Seven UVA starters recorded hits as the Cavaliers finished with 11 hits in the defeat. Matt Thaiss (Jr., Jackson, N.J.) went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and three RBI. East Carolina finished with 10 hits in the game.
Both teams scored twice in the first inning. During a long top of the inning in which it forced Jones to throw more than 30 pitches, ECU got a two-out, two-run single from Dwanya Williams-Sutton. UVA countered in the bottom of the inning with three straight hits, as Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.) and Thaiss hit back-to-back doubles before Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) hit a run-scoring single.
UVA added a pair of runs in the second inning when Thaiss stroked a two-out, two-run double into the right-field corner.
ECU chipped a run from the lead in the third inning on a one-out RBI double from Eric Tyler and then tied the game in the fourth when Jeff Nelson launched a towering solo home run into the left-field bleachers.
Virginia manufactured a run in the sixth inning when Cameron Simmons (Fr., Royersford, Pa.) led off with a double, moved to third on an Andy Weber (Fr., Aurora, Ohio) grounder to first and scored on an Adam Haseley (So., Windermere, Fla.) sacrifice fly to center.
The Cavaliers had a chance to extend their lead in the eighth inning but left the bases loaded before ECU rallied in the ninth, tying the game on a Charlie Yorgen sacrifice fly to right field.
ECU then scored three times in the 10th. With one out and runners on first and second, Brady Lloyd blooped a hit just in front of a diving Haseley in center field. The ball caromed off Haseley and went for a double, with Bryce Harman scoring. Wes Phillips followed with a run-scoring groundout to first before a wild pitch brought Lloyd home.
The teams return for Game 2 of the series at 1 p.m. Saturday. Parking is available in Emmet-Ivy Garage as well as the University Hall, John Paul Jones Arena and McCue Center parking lots. Please note that because of the men’s basketball game at 6:30 p.m., all vehicles must vacate the University Hall, JPJ and McCue parking lots by 4:30 p.m.
An audio broadcast is available Saturday through a Cavaliers Live subscription on VirginiaSports.com. In the Charlottesville area, WINA 1070-AM and 98.9 FM will have the radio broadcast of Saturday game. A link to live statistics also can be found on VirginiaSports.com.