Quinnipiac Topples ECU 5-4 In Greenville NCAA Regional
Fourth seeded Quinnipiac launched a pair of home runs including a two-run bomb from Liam Scafariello in the top of the seventh that proved to be pivotal in a 5-4 victory over the number 10 national seed ECU Saturday night.
With the victory, the Bobcats advance to the winners bracket of the Greenville NCAA Regional.
Big Chris Enns went six and two-thirds innings on the mound, giving up just three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts to improve to 7-5 on the season. He got help from Colin Doneley late in the contest who grabbed his first save of the season to advance and play Campbell on Sunday in the winner’s bracket.
ECU(43-16) had their chances but things just did not work out, so they will take on N.C. State Sunday morning at high noon in an elimination game.
“Hell of a baseball game. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for us. Hats off to Quinnipiac. I thought their pitcher did a tremendous job and he kept us off balance,” said ECU head coach Cliff Godwin, “We had some quality at-bats. They just played a little bit better than we did.”
“I thought the crowd was amazing and Quinnipiac performed well under a hostile environment.”
Ian Ostburg’s grounder to first scored the first run of the game for Quinnipiac when Andre Marrero scampered home from third. That after a Jake Kuchmaner wild pitch moved him from second to third. Evan Vulgamore’s tenth homer of the year on a ball crushed into the left field jungle extended the Bobcat lead to 2-0.
With runners on the corners in the bottom half of the first inning, Alec Burleson’s grounder to left allowed Bryant Packard to score from third and cut the Bobcat lead to one. Turner Brown then stole third and then scored to tie the game at 2-2 on a pick off throw to second base.
In the top of the second frame Dylan Lutz doubled down the right field line for Quinnipiac’s third run of the game and that got Kuchmaner pulled in favor of Gavin Williams after just one and a third innings and only thirty pitches.
Then in the fourth, Thomas Francisco’s base hit to left center brought in an ECU run and tied the contest at 3-3.
But in the seventh, Quinnipiac(30-27) was at it again when a Liam Scafariello bomb to left brought in a pair of Bobcat runs to open up a 5-3 cushion.
One inning later, Bryson Worrell homered for ECU to cut the lead to one but 5-4 was as close as ECU would get. The Pirates were shut down in the bottom of the ninth to fall one run short of taking the game into extra innings.
ECU will face NC State in an elimination contest at Noon Sunday while Quinnipiac advances to the winner’s bracket to will take on Campbell at 4 p.m.