PirateIllustrated - East Carolina Claws Their Way Past North Carolina 11-10
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East Carolina Claws Their Way Past North Carolina 11-10

(8)ECU's Alec Makarewicz's two-run homer in the eighth and game winning single with the bases loaded in the ninth sealed East Carolina's 11-10 victory over (24)UNC.
(8)ECU's Alec Makarewicz's two-run homer in the eighth and game winning single with the bases loaded in the ninth sealed East Carolina's 11-10 victory over (24)UNC. (PirateIllustrated.com photo)

Alec Makarewicz’s game-tying home run in the eighth and his game winning base hit over the head of left fielder Angel Zaratein the bottom of the ninth sealed an important 11-10 ECU victory over (24)North Carolina to tie the season series at 1-1 Tuesday night in Greenville.

(8)East Carolina clawed their way back from a pair of four run deficits both early and late over the course of the evening to pick up a win that had both local and national implications.

Tyler Smith(1-1) picked up the win in relief, going one inning late to shut the Tar Heels down while Davis Palermo fell to 1-1 with the loss in two-thirds of an inning at the end for North Carolina.

ECU(18-5) had 18 hits on the evening with three home runs and a pair of doubles, leaving 14 stranded in what was a slugfest in Clark-LeClair Stadium. Connor Norby had four hits, in three RBI’s including a home run, Bryson Worrell went 4 for 5 and Makarewicz did a little of everything with three hits, four RBI’s and the game winner at the end.

“It was just pure adrenaline, but just happy that we were able to get the bases loaded so that helped relax me a little bit with one out,” said Makarewicz, “It just went on from there. I just stayed in the moment.”

“I think Coach Godwin gave us a really good approach today and all our guys stuck to it,” Makarewicz told PirateIllustrated.com, “It just helped keep the chain together. It was a great day.”

For Cliff Godwin, it was another day at the office and while he tried to keep his usual even keel after the game, it was quite the nail biter and a big win for a number of reasons. After losing two of three games last week including one to this same North Carolina squad, ECU could ill afford to start this week on a losing note with Cincinnati coming up this weekend. The Bearcats won 13-12 over Louisville in ten innings Tuesday night.

“It was awesome. I’m really proud of our guys. A ton of guys came off the bench and did their job,” ECU head coach Cliff Godwin said, “Really good win. It wasn’t real fun until the end, but hey we found a way to win. We’re not bad when we show up and execute the plan. We’ll try to do that more often. Norby was terrific, Seth Caddell was terrific, Franny was Franny, A-Mac was terrific. Those guys that came off the bench, the same thing. Those guys were terrific as well. A lot of guys had a lot of quality at bats. We didn’t have a lot of cheap hits. We had a lot of hard contact and that was good to see.”

The Pirates came back from the dead twice in this one and finishing it in regulation in the bottom of the ninth put the Tar Heels to bed before more damage could be done. Godwin said he talked to his team before the game about rivalry games like the one on Tuesday night against the Tar Heels and didn’t say that much to them during the game. Instead, he let them work their way through it.

“Anytime you play a rivalry, and it’s going to be in-conference too, you’ve got to take punches. I didn’t feel like up to this point in the past two weeks that when another team threw a punch that we responded,” Godwin told PirateIllustrated.com.

“Look, you’re going to get bloody and it’s just like a UFC match. You’re not having physical contact, but the guy that wins is bloody at the end. You’re going to get bloodied up. You just can’t lay down when you get knocked down. Getting down 4-0, that wasn’t the way you plan it and I thought our guys stuck to their approach, I let them maneuver their way through it and I thought our guys competed as good as we have competed all year.”

(21)UNC got the scoring underway with four quick runs in the first inning on a two-run Danny Serretti home run followed by a two-run double from Johnny Castagnozzi and ECU starting right-hander Trystan Kimmel lasted just a third of an inning as a result.

In the bottom of the inning, ECU scored a pair of runs on an Alec Makarewicz RBI hit up the middle. Then Zach Agnos walked with the bases juiced to bring Seth Caddell home from third base in a 4-2 ballgame.

Carolina scored a pair of runs in the top of the second on a Caleb Roberts RBI double to right center to extend the UNC lead to 6-2. ECU then cut the lead to a two on a Connor Norby base hit to right and a Seth Caddell sacrifice fly that allowed Ryder Giles to score.

Norby’s two-run homer to right off of UNC right-hand reliever Caden O’Brien was his third hit of the game and tied the contest at 6-6 in the bottom of the fourth.

In the top of the sixth, Angel Zarate’s two-run home run followed by a Caleb Roberts’ solo homer broke a 6-6 tie before Tyler Causey’s solo home run in the seventh to put UNC up by four runs.

But Seth Caddell’s homer in the bottom of the eighth to right field was East Carolina’s second of the evening to cut the lead to two at 8-6 before Alec Makarewicz followed with a two-home run of his own to tie the contest at 10-10.

All told North Carolina(13-10) smacked four home runs and three doubles of their own on 13 hits.

East Carolina now moves into AAC play when they host Cincinnati this weekend for four games beginning Thursday afternoon at 4 o’clock, weather permitting.

Catch the postgame comments of Cliff Godwin and Alec Makarewicz below.