ECU Kruczes to a 14-3 Blowout of UCF in First Round AAC Action
East Carolina erased an early 2-0 deficit and then cruised to a 14-3 round one win over Central Florida in the AAC Tournament at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida.
It took until midnight to complete the game, but every Pirate who had an at-bat picked up at least one hit in Pirate victory.
Evan Kruczynski(4-2) went six innings giving up just two runs on eight hits in 102 pitches to pick up the round one win. Tyler Smith and Davis Kirkpatrick came on to mop things up for ECU.
Trent Thompson lasted just two and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on three hits for the Knights who used five pitchers Tuesday night all told. Thompson fell to 0-2 with the loss.
“I’m just proud of Kruz. I didn’t think Kruz had his best stuff tonight but he was able to battle through six innings. They were really tough on him. They fouled off a lot of pitches. He usually throws a lot of strikes and fortunately the ones that were hit were right at somebody (who caught it),” said ECU head coach Cliff Godwin.
UCF(38-19) got on the scoreboard first with runs in the both the first and second inning. A Kyle Marsh double in the opening inning and an ECU error produced the second run in the second frame to give the Knights a 2-0 lead.
But ECU(30-27) struck in the third inning when Charlie Yorgen’s three-run bomb off of UCF’s Trent Thompson to right field tied the game at 2-2.
“That was a big swing by Charlie (Yorgen) on a 3-2 change up,” said Godwin, “That was awesome. A 3-2 change up with two outs, he hit a two run homer and we had a lot of big RBI’s with Turner Brown and Travis Watkins. A lot of big at-bats tonight.”
Travis Watkins then doubled in the same inning and then advanced to third on a throwing error. That set things up for a Spencer Brickhouse who blooped a seeing eye single just over the head of UCF third baseman Cam Gellinger and just in front of Kyle Marsh in left field. That scored another run to give the Pirates their first lead of the game at 3-2.
Thompson, who retired his first seven batters was then lifted for Eric Hepple after walking ECU’s Eric Tyler.
Turner Brown produced two more Pirate runs when his fifth inning double to right field compounded the issue for the Knights.
Matters didn’t get any better for UCF when Travis Watkins’ double to right center in the top of the sixth stanza allowed both Charlie Yorgen and Dusty Baker to score which made it 9-2 Pirates.
ECU scored for the third straight inning and added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to make it 10-2 when Drew Henrickson’s ground out to short allowed Eric Tyler to score.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, UCF got on the scoreboard again when Thomas singled to center to allow Kyle Marsh to score.
The Pirates answered with four more runs in the ninth when Dwanya Williams-Sutton’s hard grounder bounced off of short stop Brennan Bozeman and allowed Tyler to score. Then Henrickson’s single to right brought Turner Brown across home plate to put the Pirates up by a touchdown and a field goal at 12-3.
Brady Lloyd added additional damage in the ninth for ECU when he singled down the right field line to allow Williams-Sutton to score and Nick Barber then reached on a fielder’s choice that scored another run to make it 14-3.