Chris Newell's 12th 💣 of the year.
📺: @accnetwork | #GoHoos pic.twitter.com/51cetMzApP
— Virginia Baseball (@UVABaseball) June 5, 2022
GREENVILLE, N.C. –East Carolina (44-18) held on for a 4-2 win against Virginia (39-18) on Saturday (June 4) to advance to the Greenville Regional Championship game Sunday night. The Cavaliers will play an elimination game against Coastal Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m.
After Kyle Teel and Casey Saucke each came up with one out singles in the top of the ninth, the Pirates turned to shortstop Zach Agnos to get the final two outs of the game. Agnos issued a five-pitch walk to freshman Ethan Anderson before striking out the final two batters of the game. The save was his second of the season.
Cavalier starting pitcher Brian Gursky logged 5.2 innings on the mound, scattered six hits and allowed one earned run in the contest. Two of the four runs scored by the Pirates were unearned.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- ECU jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a two-run homer by Josh Moylan in the bottom of the second inning. It was Moylan’s sixth of the season.
- The Cavaliers cut the Pirate lead in half with a solo shot over the center field wall off the bat of Chris Newell, his 12th homer of the year. It was also his fourth career NCAA Tournament home run, tied with Pavin Smith for the most in program history.
- The Pirates responded in the bottom half with another blast, a solo homer by Justin Wilcoxen, his second of the season.
- The two teams traded runs in the seventh to make the score 4-2. In the top half, a Saucke double pushed Teel to third base. Anderson pulled a ground ball to second base that allowed Teel to score. The Pirates scored an unearned run on a sacrifice fly to make it a two-run game.
- Cavalier reliever Brandon Neeck pitched the final two innings and allowed just the unearned run. He fanned two of the three batters in the eighth inning to keep the game at 4-2.
FROM HEAD COACH BRIAN O’CONNOR
“I thought it was just overall a great college baseball game. Unfortunately, there’s going to be a loser and we came out on the wrong end of it and that’s to credit East Carolina. They did a terrific job. The starter (C.J. Mayhue) really did a very, very nice job, and it seemed like our guys just couldn’t get comfortable in the batter’s box against him. That’s credit to him.
And then, wow, I just think (Zach) Agnos is just a great college baseball player. To play shortstop and make the plays he made and then to come in and finish that game out, speaks to the kind of player he is and the character that he has, and the competitive spirit he has and that showed tonight. I tip my cap to him; he did a terrific job to be in that environment and the bases loaded and get two strikeouts the end of the game was impressive.
We just couldn’t get a big hit. I think we probably left seven or eight runners on base. I thought (Brian) Gursky after that two-run inning, I thought he settled down and did what he needed to do. You have a starter that goes out there and goes five-plus and gives up three runs in the NCAA tournament gives you a chance to win the game. And I thought he settled down and ate the game up for us and gave us a chance. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t do enough and that’s credit to their pitching and their defense. It was very, very good. And so we’ll have another opportunity tomorrow. We’ve got to shake this one off and be ready to go tomorrow.”
The winner of the Virginia/Coastal Carolina will play East Carolina in the Regional Championship game on Sunday night at 6 p.m. If East Carolina loses, there will be game Monday (June 6) at 1 p.m. The Cavaliers will send lefty Jake Berry to the mound. Coastal Carolina will throw righthander Michael Knorr.
• ECU extended its winning streak to 20 games, the longest active streak in college baseball.
• The Pirates are 2-1 against UVA in the NCAA Tournament and are winners of five of the last six games against the Cavaliers.
• The game was played in front of 5,603 fans, the most ever at Clark-LeClair Stadium.