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From the Anchor Desk
Sunday, June 5, 2011

By Brian Bailey

Road to Omaha blocked by Cavaliers


JUNE 3-6, 2011

1. Virginia (50-9)
2. East Carolina (39-20)
3. St. John's (36-20)
4. Navy (33-24-1


UVa 6, Navy 0
St. John's 2, ECU 0


ECU 6, Navy 1
UVa 10, St. John's 2
All 16 Regional Brackets


Road to Omaha blocked by Cavaliers
Box Score: Virginia 13, East Carolina 1
Regional Photo Gallery #5
Audio: Godwin & Select Players Postgame
Box Score: East Carolina 6, St. John's 4
Regional Photo Gallery #4
Audio: Godwin, Mincey, Thompson Postgame
Godwin's strategy pays off against Navy
Box Score: East Carolina 6, Navy 1
Regional Photo Gallery #3
Audio: Godwin, Maness & McDonald Postgame
Timely hitting goes AWOL again
Box Score: St. John's 2, East Carolina 0
Regional Photo Gallery #2
Audio: Godwin Postgame
Ruff treatment: Weaver hands off to Hasty
Pirates clicking, but capable of better: Godwin
Audio: Regional coaches size up he field
Regional Photo Gallery #1
Bucs get another bite at Charlottesville apple
Audio: Godwin Sizes Up Charlottesville Regional
Rankings: ECU Climbs in Baseball America Poll
Field of 64: All 16 NCAA Regional Brackets
Pirates have run gamut of emotions

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — I had the feeling that Sunday would get off to a good start for East Carolina.

Before the St. John's game, Phil Nichols and his wife asked me to point out the parents of ECU's Chase McDonald. The Nichols had obtained Chase’s grand slam baseball from Saturday's win over Navy and wanted to get it to him.

What a great case of Pirates supporting Pirates!

Chase had a great regional in Charlottesville and wrapped up his freshman year with some impressive stats in the Pirates' last weekend of the year. McDonald was 7-16 over four games with 5 RBI’s and that grand slam.

The big blow for the Pirates in Sunday's elimination game against St John’s came off the bat of Corey Thompson. Thompson hit a two run home run to stake East Carolina to a 3-0 lead early.

“I just wanted to get something in the air,” said Thompson. “I’m not the fastest guy, so I was really just trying to lift one.”

ECU's 6-4 win over the Red Storm moved the Pirates into Sunday night’s regional finale against number one seed and top-ranked Virginia.

The Pirates had little time to get ready. That’s the penalty for losing a game in a four-team, double-elimination format.

Virginia opened like it was a rested team ready to go. After a scoreless first inning, the Cavaliers exploded for five runs on five hits in the second inning. UVa then added four more runs in the fourth for a big, 9-run cushion.

The Cavs played the part of number one all weekend, beating beat Navy 6-0 in the opener on Friday, blasting St. John’s 10-2 on Saturday, and then unloading on the Pirates on Sunday night.

ECU starter Zach Woods never made it out of the second inning. Woods really pitched well against Virginia back in February in a 4-3 loss. He struggled this time out. Woods went 1.2 innings, giving up five runs on five hits. All of the runs were earned and all came with two outs.

In fact, the Cavaliers simply killed the Pirates by scoring runs with two outs. Pirate coach Billy Godwin says that’s the mark of a special team. “Our 2009 team was like that,” Godwin said. “I think we led the nation that year in scoring runs with two outs.”

Godwin was most complimentary of the Virginia team.

“They are a very deserving regional champion,” said Godwin.
You could hear the disappointment in Godwin’s voice. He knew the task was a tall one. He also knows his team didn’t play its best baseball with the season on the line.

Still, give the Cavaliers credit. They are the No. 1 team in the nation and huge favorites to get to Omaha for the College World Series.

That trip to Omaha eludes ECU again, but continues to be the goal for the Pirate program.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

06/06/2011 05:37 AM


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