Bobby Miller One-Hits ECU in a 12-0 Win to Advance to Omaha
Bobby Miller came within one hit of the first no-hitter in NCAA Super Regional history in an easy 12-0 win over ECU at Jim Patterson Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Thomas Francisco’s base hit to right for ECU in the bottom of the ninth inning prevented the no-hitter and Miller was then lifted for relief pitcher Michael Kirian. Officially Miller gave up just one hit in eight innings on just 90 pitches with five strikeouts and just two walks.
Miller got awfully close to a no-hitter and said he knew it late in the game as the no-hit innings continued to mount.
“I kind of knew it the whole game. I tried not to think about it. It’s hard not to when you look up at the scoreboard and see a lot of zeros up there and zero hits. I’ve got to give credit to my defense and Coach Williams and Henry Davis, they were all doing a great job today,” said Miller afterward.
The nerves continued to mount as the game went on but Miller stuck with his game plan going into the contest with ECU.
“I was very anxious every inning. I just wanted to go out there and get the game moving every inning, but it’s hard to when our offense is just hitting the crap out of the ball,” Miller said, “The game plan going in was to just hold my emotions, control my velocity and throw the ball in the strike zone because I know we have the best defense. I think we can go all the way.”
With the victory, Miller improved to 7-1 for Louisville that advanced to their fifth College World Series in Omaha. Alec Burleson fell to 6-2 with the loss in two innings on the mound for ECU.
“They’re my guys and I’d lose with them every day than take the other guys and winning,” said ECU head coach Cliff Godwin, “They’ll be a part of this family for the rest of their lives and my life so I’m just super proud of them.”
"Congratulations to Louisville. They played unbelievable baseball for two days. After playing five games in 48 hours, you would think that with the student athletes' welfare, the NCAA being so concerned about that, that we wouldn't have to play the first game on Friday. But I guess that's the way it is when you're not a Power 5 school."
"These guys in my opinion earned a national seed, not over Louisville but they had the fifth RPI in the country, won 42 regular season games, they had the eleventh non conference strength of schedule and didn't even sniff a national seed and that's not right," stated Godwin, "I was going to say that whether we won the super regional or lost it."
Godwin expressed his disappointment that ECU wasn't a top eight national seed and hosting the Super Regional in the first place.
"Look it's a joke to be quite honest with you," Godwin said, "I just felt like we had earned that. East Carolina now is not bring in a Power 5 conference, I guess it's going to be an uphill battle to be able to become a national seed."
"There are no words to describe what we're feeling. Look, everybody here has put in a lot of work for this program and it's by far been the best four years of my life," said Turner Brown, "Thank you to Pirate Nation for sticking by our side through the ups and the downs. We love this place and I probably speak for all of us. This place is our home and we love this place."
Justin Lavey went 3-3 with a pair of doubles and three RBI’s while Drew Campbell went 3 for 5 at the plate for Louisville(48-16) with a double, a triple and two runs batted in to lead the Cardinals at the plate. Lucas Dunn and Henry Davis also added two RBI’s each in the win.
For ECU, it was yet another bitter pill to swallow in once again coming up short of their ultimate goal of making it to Omaha after losing their second game in as many days.
Drew Campbell got Louisville started in the top of the second inning on a two-run triple to left that was bobbled on the running catch attempt by Bryant Packard, scoring a pair of runs. Then with the bases loaded, a wild pitch from Alec Burleson scored another run to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead before he got the Pirates out of the inning with good pitching.
After a fruitless second inning at the plate for ECU(47-18), Gavin Williams came on for the Pirates to pitch in the third, moving Alec Burleson to designated hitter. Then two hits laced down the right field line resulted in two more Cardinal runs before an RBI single for Henry Davis to left scored Justin Lavey when he beat the tag at the plate to make it 6-0.
Louisville(48-16) scored their seventh run on a check swing from Henry Davis, their eighth on an sacrifice RBI Lucas Dunn and their ninth on a ground out chopper from Logan Wyatt to put the Cardinals up 9-0.
In the top of the ninth Justin Lavey drilled a Cam Colmore pitch to the base of the wall in left to score a run before Lavey scored on Zeke Pinkham base hit to make it 11-0.
ECU loaded the bases in the ninth inning, but a double-play to home and then to first base on a Christian Jayne bouncer to pitcher Michael Kirian was followed by dinging Alec Burleson to load the bases again. Jake Washer then popped out to centerfield to end it.