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ECU rips Quinnipiac, faces Campbell for regional crown

East Carolina survived two NCAA tournament elimination games on its home field Sunday and needs to do it twice more on Monday.

After ousting N.C. State earlier in the day, the Pirates bashed four home runs to pound Quinnipiac 13-3 Sunday night in the Greenville Regional at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The No. 10 national seed and the regional’s top seed, East Carolina (45-16) advances to Monday’s regional championship against third-seeded Campbell (37-19).

Since ECU lost to Quinnipiac, 5-4, in the regional’s opening round on Saturday night, the Pirates must beat Campbell twice to claim the regional title. The teams play at 1 p.m. on Monday. If ECU wins that game, the regional’s deciding game will be played at 7 p.m.

Jake Washer smacked two homers Sunday night to help the Pirates exact revenge against fourth-seeded Quinnipiac (30-29). His solo shot in the second inning put ECU up 1-0.

Quinnipiac quickly tied it up in the bottom half of the inning. Kevin Huscher doubled, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.

Bryant Packard put ECU back on top with a two-run home run in the third inning for a 3-1 lead.

After an Alec Burleson single, Washer blasted his second homer of the game, a two-out, two-run shot that pushed ECU’s lead to 5-1.

Bryson Worrell’s two-run home run in the sixth extended ECU’s lead to 8-2 and the Pirates kept pouring in on from there.

“It was awesome,” ECU outfielder Chandler Jenkins said. “We were looking to set the tone early. We wanted to send a message. Yeah last night they won, but we’re still here, we’re still tough and we can beat anybody out there so I thought it helped set the tone and loosen everybody up and just got us rolling. Hopefully we can carry it into tomorrow.”

Combined with its 9-2 win over N.C. State earlier Sunday, ECU scored 22 runs with 30 hits over its two must-win games.

Now it needs another two-win day to keep its season going.

“Obviously, a long day for us,” ECU coach Cliff Godwin said. “I told them, no time to be tired. We’ll be tired in the offseason, so we’ll sleep quick tonight and get ready. We’re promised one game tomorrow. We’re about winning the first pitch tomorrow when we show up and we’ll be ready to go.”

An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.
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