ECU Prevails to Take NCAA Regional Title 12-3 Over Campbell
ECU continued to amaze, coming back from the dead after an opening loss to take the Greenville NCAA Regional into an extra day. The Pirates won two games on Monday against Campbell to punch their ticket to the Louisville Super Regional this weekend including a 12-3 win late Monday night.
Spencer Brickhouse delivered a home run, three hits and four RBI to lead the Pirates offensively. He got plenty of help from Turner Brown who had three hits and two RBI and played brilliantly in the field. Bryant Packard added a pair of hits in a twelve hit, twelve run offensive attack in front of a sellout crowd of 5,206 inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Spencer Packard led Campbell(37-21) with three hits while driving in all three of the Camels’ runs.
Jake Kuchmaner(7-2) did a little bit of everything from getting the win on the mound to even stepping up to the plate three times in the victory. ECU catcher Jake Washer was great behind the plate all evening and was a hand full for opposing pitchers all weekend and into Monday. Washer took home the Greenville NCAA Regional MVP award.
“There was never a doubt. We were just playing hard and knowing we could do what we did,” said Washer.
“Like Coach said, he didn’t have a doubt in his mind and we didn’t have a doubt in our minds either. Quinnipiac is a great team, Campbell is a good team and N.C. State is a good team, but all we had to do is take it one pitch and one game at a time,” said Bryant Packard, “I think we did a really good job of that. We battled through a lot of adversity. A lot of people were banged up but it didn’t matter. We were going to put everything on the line for Pirate Nation.”
Afterward, ECU head coach Cliff Godwin was elated, relieved and excited to see his team etch their name in the baseball history book of Pirate lore.
“I just want to thank God because there were a lot of prayers going up on Saturday night after we lost that first game. I told you guys the sun was going to come up the next day. It did and he gave our players the strength to be able to go out there and compete and just focus on the present moment and winning one pitch at a time,” said Godwin, “I can’t tell you how proud I am of our players. Burley, Wash and Pack and T.B. and Kooch and Jake Agnos and Brick and just everybody contributed.”
“Each win got us one game closer and we just had to really focus on taking it one game at a time,” said Alec Burleson.
After losing the opening game to Quinnipiac, to win three straight games, including two that went late into the evening was no small task.
“Everybody’s pitching on fumes and the crowd was just amazing. I don’t think our guys could have gotten through it if it wasn’t for the crowd,” Godwin stated, “I’ve coached at a lot of places and won regionals at places and there wasn’t a better atmosphere than there was tonight in Greenville, North Carolina tonight. I can promise you. It was awesome.”
“I feel like I went 26 rounds with Mike Tyson and I didn’t even play,” said Godwin, “I was content and I never told them that, because if we lost we had put it all on the line. When you’re a coach and your kids give you every ounce of energy, that’s all you can ask for. I think there was a 7.5 percent chance when you lose the first game of a regional so maybe it’s 8 percent now and we helped out somebody else that loses on day one.”
Alec Burleson knocked a Phil Simpson pitch into a fielder’s choice at second base and Bryant Packard scored from third base to get ECU on the scoreboard first. Spencer Brickhouse slapped a base hit down the third base line for his first RBI of the regional to score another Pirate run.
With the bases juiced for ECU(47-16) in the bottom of the second inning, Phil Simpson was lifted in favor of Julian Blackburn on the mound for Campbell.
Turner Brown’s chopper up the middle was flipped to second base for an out but then was overthrown to first base producing two more ECU runs to make it 4-0.
Spencer Brickhouse showcased his power when he went yard over the centerfield wall for ECU’s eighth homer of the regional to make it 5-0 in the third frame.
Campbell scored a run when Spencer Packard delivered a base hit down the left field line that allowed Luis Gimenez to score from second base to trim the lead to 5-1.
Doubles from Turner Brown and Bryant Packard in the fourth and fifth frames added three more runs before a Brady Lloyd walk with the bases loaded added another to put the Pirates up 7-3.
ECU then added five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on a Dusty Baker base hit down the right field line, a Spencer Brickhouse double along the left field line and a Campbell fielding error at first base that allowed Jake Washer to score to make it 12-3.
The Pirates will next travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals in NCAA Super Regional action this coming weekend Catch the all-tournament team and post game audio below and stay tuned for more here on PirateIllustrated.com.
Greenville Regional All-Tournament Team
Catcher: Jake Washer (ECU)
1B: Koby Collins (Campbell)
2B: Dylan Luts (Quinnipiac)
SS: Luis Gimenez (Campbell)
3B: Evan Vulgamore (Quinnipiac)
OF: Matthew Barefoot (Campbell)
OF: Alec Burleson (ECU)
OF: Bryant Packard (ECU)
DH: Spencer Packard (Campbell)
SP: Jake Agnos (ECU)
SP: Michael Horrell (Campbell)
Most Outstanding Player: Jake Washer (ECU)