TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Road to Omaha blocked by
JUNE 3-6, 2011
1. Virginia (50-9)
2. East Carolina (39-20)
3. St. John's (36-20)
4. Navy (33-24-1
All 16 Regional Brackets
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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,
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.
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