ECU Eliminated In AAC Semi-Finals By UCF 2-1
(9)ECU entered Saturday night’s game with UCF needing a win to get to the AAC title game after beating the Knights earlier in the day to earn their way to the afternoon rematch. The Pirates came up short 2-1 and were eliminated from the tournament.
UCF will now advance to the Championship game Sunday at high noon at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Florida. ECU will travel back to Greenville and await their fate on Monday when the NCAA announces seedings and regional sites for the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
Alex Freeland’s solo homer to left got the scoring underway to give UCF(31-29/19-14 AAC) a lead the Knights would maintain throughout the contest.
UCF starting pitcher Hunter Patteson(3-2) picked up the victory, going six scoreless innings before David Litchfield came on to grab his eighth save of the year.
Jake Kuchmaner(2-4) got the Saturday afternoon start for ECU(41-15/20-9 AAC) before Saylor, Ginn, Wilson and Mayhue all followed in relief for the Pirates.
With East Carolina runners on first and second in the eighth inning, David Litchfield put out the fire inducing a Thomas Francisco pop fly to center to end the threat.
Freeland was at it again in the ninth when his base hit to center brought Pablo Ruiz home from third base. That gave UCF a 2-0 lead. Ruiz reached on a fielding error before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt from Nick Romano.
Lane Hoover singled in the bottom of the ninth and advanced to second base on an error from third baseman Tom Josten. Thomas Makarewicz followed with a base hit to center to score a run and cut the UCF lead to 2-1 but Zach Agnos grounded into a double play to end the contest.
GAME ONE: ECU 5 UCF 2
East Carolina jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in a 5-2 game one win at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Florida to send the two teams into an afternoon elimination game
The Pirates had ten hits and left eleven stranded on base in the victory.
ECU jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a Zach Agnos sacrifice fly i the first and a wild pitch in the third that led to Lane Hoover scoring on an error from the catcher.
Pablo Ruiz’s grounder to third in the top of the fourth got UCF on the scoreboard to cut the lead to 2-1.
UCF right-hander Kenny Serwa(3-5) lasted just three innings after giving up five hits and a pair of ECU runs and absorbed the loss for the Knights.
The Pirate lead then expanded to 3-1 on a Thomas Francisco home run to right centerfield.
Carson Whisenhunt(6-1) gave up one run with five strikeouts and four walked batters in five innings of work to pick up the win for ECU. Cam Colmore and Matt Bridges both saw action in relief.
ECU loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning when Ryder Giles reached on a throwing error from UCF third baseman Andrew Brait that led to two more Pirates runs.
UCF scored in the top of the ninth on a Pablo Ruiz hit to centerfield but it wasn’t enough to avoid an elimination game in the afternoon.