Post-game Audio...


Lubbock Super Regional Central on

Inside Game Day
Friday, June 10, 2016

By Al Myatt

Al Myatt

Mr. June bustin' out all over

The wind was blowing in at Rip Griffin Park in Lubbock, TX, but that didn't keep home runs from
going out on Friday night. East Carolina countered a pair of Texas Tech home runs with two
round-trippers by Travis Watkins, including a 5th-inning grand slam that put the Pirates ahead and
a two-run blast in the 6th that proved decisive in ECU's Super Regional win. (Photo by Al Myatt)

Lubbock Super Regional

Friday Final: ECU 8, Texas Tech 6

Saturday Final: Texas Tech 3, ECU 1 (13)

Sunday: Texas Tech vs. ECU | 3 pm | TV TBA*

View Tournament Central on

View ECU's full schedule on


East Carolina lines up on the third-base line before Friday's opening game of the NCAA Lubbock Super Regional. Effective performances on the mound and at the plate enabled the Pirates to move within a win of the College World Series by defeating host and No. 5 national seed Texas Tech. (Photo by Al Myatt)



Pirates take charter from Greenville

Al MyattThe East Carolina baseball team's travel to Lubbock, TX, for the Super Regional was expedited by the NCAA. The Pirates flew out of Greenville on Wednesday morning and got a practice in Wednesday evening on site. ... More from Al Myatt...

Audio: Godwin & players...

ECU coach Cliff Godwin and a number of his players spoke with the press after their final practice in Greenville before heading to the Lubbock Super Regional (recorded by W.A. Myatt). ... Select clips...



Mission to Omaha on course

It was the 'shot heard 'round the Pirate Nation.' More than that, it was a shot heard 'round the entire nation! Travis Watkins' three-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth Saturday night set the stage for an NCAA regional championship and a super regional berth. ... More from Brian Bailey...



Pirates welcomed home as champs

GREENVILLE An enthusiastic contingent of East Carolina fans made the trek to Clark-LeClair Stadium on Monday to extend congratulations and a hearty welcome to the Pirates upon their return to Clark-LeClair Stadium after capturing the NCAA regional title in Charlottesville over the weekend. Bonesville's W.A. Myatt captured a few pictures of the occasion and recorded interviews with ECU head coach Cliff Godwin and Regional MVP Travis Watkins. ... Play audio and view photos...

Audio: Godwin and Watkins...



Pirates power up, go Super

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA Two-run homers by Charlie Yorgen, Travis Watkins and Eric Tyler keyed East Carolina's 8-4 win over William & Mary on Sunday, clinching the NCAA regional championship. The Tribe (31-31) had edged 2015 College World Series champion Virginia 5-4 in an elimination game earlier in the day ... More...


Walkoff wallop whips Wahoos

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA A three-run homer by Travis Watkins capped a five-run ninth inning for East Carolina and provided an 8-6 walkoff win over Virginia in the winners' bracket matchup Saturday at Davenport Field. ... More...


Pirates pull away in eighth

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA East Carolina broke open a pitching duel with seven runs in the eighth inning to defeat Bryant 9-1 in the Pirates' NCAA Tournament opener on Friday. Third-seeded ECU (35-21-1) advances to play top-seeded Virginia (38-20) at 6 p.m. today. ... More...



Regional represents redemption

Al MyattThe Bryant Bulldogs have momentum going into the Charlottesville regional. East Carolina's first round opponent at 4 p.m. today has won 10 in a row. Momentum is not a factor in the Pirates' favor as ECU is coming off an 0-2 showing in defense of its 2015 championship in the American Athletic Conference tournament ... More from Al Myatt...



Dual-threat QB plans to enroll early

One play was all it took for Kingsley Ifedi to start turning heads in his varsity debut as Vance High School's starting quarterback last August. Ifedi had served as the backup to senior Omar Baker, Jr., the year before as a sophomore after transferring to Vance from Phillip O'Berry Academy ... More from Sammy Batten...

ECU football recruiting thumbnails: Class of 2017


By Al Myatt
All rights reserved.


Postgame audio: Godwin, Watkins, Bridges...

View box score on (PDF)

LUBBOCK, TX Travis Watkins has become Mr. June for East Carolina in the way that Reggie Jackson was once Mr. October for the New York Yankees by hitting big home runs in big games.

Watkins continued his torrid power pace with two home runs and six RBIs at Texas Tech Friday night in an 8-6 Pirates win in the first game of a best-of-three Super Regional.

Watkins hit a grand slam down the left field line in a five-run fifth inning for ECU (38-21-1) as the Pirates moved within a win of advancing to the College World Series.

Story continues after the following picture...

Scott Higgins leads the umpiring crew onto Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park for the start of the NCAA Lubbock Super Regional. Higgins gained some infamy in last weekend's Raleigh Regional by ejecting N.C. State coach Elliott Avent. (Photo by Al Myatt)

It was the first Super Regional win ever for ECU after going 0-2 in 2001, 2004 and 2009.

Watkins belted a two-run homer to left in the sixth for the runs that eventually made the difference against the Red Raiders (44-18).

A three-run walk-off homer by Watkins provided an 8-6 win over Virginia last Saturday, the deciding moment in the Charlottesville regional.

"I've worked really hard with Coach (Cliff) Godwin over the past few weeks," Watkins said. "I've kind of shortened up my swing a little bit, went to my two-strike approach. That's what we've worked on is just something that we're comfortable with."

Story continues after the following picture...

ECU's Parker Lamm prepares to lead off the game with head coach Cliff Godwin in the third base coaching box. (Photo by Al Myatt)

Like Godwin, Watkins is a catcher. He got a first hand view as Evan Kruczynski and Matt Bridges combined for a successful night on the mound.

"I wouldn't say this was one of Kruz's best outings," Watkins said. "One thing you know you're going to get from Kruz is you know he's going to go out there and compete. That was evident today. He was able to get deep in the game for us, eat up some innings. ... He was able to throw his change-up all day. He was keeping guys off balance and I think that really helped him out. He was able to command the zone. That's what you need out of your Friday night starter."

Story continues after the following picture...

ECU's Charlie Yorgen is running on the pitch on the synthetic surface of Texas Tech's home field. (Photo by Al Myatt)

Kruczynski (8-1) went five and two-thirds innings before Sam Lanier came in to finish the sixth with a strikeout. Kruczynski, a junior left-hander, allowed six hits and three runs (all earned). He walked five and struck out six.

Lanier ran into trouble in the seventh, yielding a three-run homer to Tyler Neslony that brought the Red Raiders within 8-6.

That's where the score remained as Godwin summoned Bridges. Although closer Joe Ingle was ready, the Pirates stayed with Bridges, a freshman right-hander. Bridges fashioned two and two-thirds innings of no-hit ball and recorded six strikeouts in earning his second save.

ECU pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

Story continues after the following picture...

ECU freshman Dwanya Williams-Sutton, the 2016 American Athletic Conference hitting leader, tosses between innings in left field. (Photo by Al Myatt)

The Pirates held a 13-8 lead in hits as Watkins and Parker Lamm each had three hits. Dwanya Williams-Sutton was 2-for-5.

ECU looks to close out the series and make the dream of going to Omaha a reality with a 3 p.m. game today (ESPNU).

E-mail Al Myatt

Al Myatt Archives

06/12/2016 03:58 PM