GREENVILLE — Jake Agnos gave East Carolina just what it needed on Sunday afternoon against N.C. State — a long and strong pitching performance — to keep the Pirates in contention in the NCAA regional at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Top-seeded ECU (44-16) erupted for six runs in a decisive third inning and beat the second-seeded Wolfpack 9-2 in an elimination matchup that left the Pirates to face Quinnipiac on Sunday night. Third-seeded Campbell topped the fourth-seeded Bobcats 9-8 with two runs in the bottom of the ninth in the winners bracket. Zach Minnick’s sacrifice fly brought in the winning run for the Camels.
Agnos (11-2), a junior left-hander, allowed solo home runs by Patrick Bailey in the first inning and Evan Edwards in the ninth.
ECU negated the blasts with its big inning. Cam Colmore came on to get the last three outs of the game. Agnos limited the Wolfpack to four hits while striking out nine.
“This game was just a representation of the community here,” Agnos said. “We’ve got a lot of tough guys. Falling to a four seed (Quinnipiac) last night, that’s tough, but us being able to bounce back and put up a 9-spot on N.C. State — we’re back in it.
“We were never out of it, but we got back to work. We didn’t let that affect us.”
Ryder Giles led off the bottom of the third with single on a full-count pitch from State starter Jason Parker (4-4). Wolfpack coach Elliott Event used four pitchers in ECU’s big frame. The Pirates had two out as State (42-19) missed turning a possible inning-ending double play that allowed Giles to score the tying run on a fielder’s choice that left Burleson at first.
Spencer Brickhouse drew a walk before Jake Washer singled to score Burleson with the go-ahead run. Chandler Jenkins had an RBI single for a 3-1 Pirates lead.
Brady Lloyd had a run-scoring double and another run scored on the play as the ball got away from the right fielder. Lloyd went to third on the miscue and came home on a wild pitch for a 6-1 ECU lead.
Washer hit a 2-run homer in the seventh. Connor Norby drew a walk with one out in the eighth, Turner Brown singled and Norby scored on a single by Burleson.
“Super proud of our guys,” said Pirates coach Cliff Godwin. ” … I don’t know if I’ve had a kid pitch in that type of circumstance against a quality opponent like that in my career.”
Washer was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
“We strung a lot of quality at-bats together to get some momentum going our way,” Washer said.