PirateIllustrated - Seth Caddell's 11th Inning Walk Off Hit Propels ECU to a 2-1 Win
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Seth Caddell's 11th Inning Walk Off Hit Propels ECU to a 2-1 Win

Seth Caddell came up big in the bottom of the eleventh inning with an RBI walk off base hit to beat William & Mary 2-1 on Friday.
Seth Caddell came up big in the bottom of the eleventh inning with an RBI walk off base hit to beat William & Mary 2-1 on Friday. (PirateIllustrated.com photo)

Seth Caddell’s single up the middle allowed Trevor Losito to score to lift (19)ECU to a 2-1 opening day victory over William & Mary Friday night in Clark-LeClair Stadium.

Alec Burleson singled to left to open the eleventh frame before advancing to second base on a Jacob Haney balk. Thomas Francisco followed with a base knock down the left field line, setting up Caddell for the game winning hit. Losito pinch ran for Burleson and scored on the Caddell game winner to get the Pirates to 1-0 on the season heading into Saturday’s second game on the series.

Burleson went seven innings giving up six hits but just one earned run with six strikeouts before four Pirate relievers saw work in the closing stages of the game. Garrett Saylor(1-0) went one inning of relief to pick up the win while Jacob Haney(0-1) took the loss for the Tribe.

The game remained scoreless in a fast moving contest until the top of the seventh when Brandon Raquet homered to right centerfield to give William & Mary(0-1) a 1-0 lead. Then in the bottom of the eighth Thomas Francisco’s sacrifice fly to center allowed Ryder Giles to score to tie the contest at 1-1.

After a scoreless tenth inning, Caddell finished it for a gritty Pirate team that found a way to win on a day where things could have gone south otherwise.

“I was just kind of anxious all day and Coach G called time and talked to me and said they’re going to pitch you tough and try to walk you,” said Caddell, “They threw a slider up and I just stayed on it finally. It felt good. I take more pride in my catching, but I’m glad that I got the win offensively.”

Godwin expected a close game in the first game of the season and had positive comments to make about his pitchers and the job Caddell did at catcher.

“I knew it would probably be a close game. Normally when you play on opening day it’s just a close game,” said Cliff Godwin, “I knew offensively we were a little anxious. I thought guys played outside of themselves a little early. I thought Burley was awesome on the mound, Kimmel was good, Bridgy was outstanding and Garrett Saylor was outstanding for him to come in and strike out. Seth Caddell, everybody will talk about his walk off hit, but the thing he did he did well tonight was blocking the baseball and being a catcher. That’s the thing I’m most proud about.”

“I felt good. I was really focused on throwing up in the zone a lot, just going right at guys,” Burleson said afterward, “I got a lot of weak contact except for the one that went over the fence. Just letting the guys hit and let my defense work behind me and my defense was awesome.”

“We had a lot of guys who were anxious at the plate. We got ourselves out a lot early then we finally started putting good at bats together toward the end,” said Burleson, “The guys who came in from the bullpen were awesome. It was just a good team win. I think we worked out a few nerves and I think we’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

ECU will take the field for game two on Saturday at 2 pm when the opening weekend series of the year continues against William & Mary.

PI AUDIO: CLIFF GODWIN

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