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2011 NCAA Charlottesville Regional: Day 3 Recap

By: Greg Waters
The University of Virginia used a 31-run and 41-hit offensive explosion to cruise through the Charlottesville Regional winning its three games by an average score of 10.1 to 1.

The offense was strong but the Cavalier pitching was superb. Cavalier hurlers yielded only three runs during the entire regional a mark which ties the record for the second-fewest number of runs allowed in an NCAA regional since the tournament went to a 64-team format in 1999, matching Arizona State in 2003.

Through the six games of the Charlottesville regional, 26,799 fans filed through the turnstiles for an average of 4,467 fans per session

#2 East Carolina – 6
#3 St John’s – 4

East Carolina started Kevin Brandt tossed four innings of six hit baseball, yielding three runs and fanning three leading ECU to a 6-4 win over St. John’s in the first elimination game of the day in Charlottesville. Brandt gave way to Brad Mincey in the fifth and the right handed senior was effective giving up just one run on two hits in the final five innings. Mincey took the win to improve his record to 6-4.

Corey Thompson sparked the Pirate offense with a 3-for-4 afternoon which included three hits, two runs scored and a 2-RBI home run.

St. John’s starter Brendan Lobban lasted just three innings allowing three runs on four hits. Eddie Medina pitched the next 3.1 followed by Red Storm closer Matt Carasiti. The pair combined for six innings of work giving up seven hits but also issuing five base-on-balls. Medina took the loss falling to 3-2.

“I don’t think we played particularly well but when you walk guys and you give things up, those types of things happen. We didn’t play good baseball this weekend,” said Red Storm coach Ed Blankmeyer. “I’m disappointed we didn’t play good baseball, but I admire that our kids hung in there. In baseball, you just don’t give things away and we just gave too many things away this weekend. We had opportunities to hit with runners in scoring position and we just didn’t get it done. That’s the story.”

The Pirates broke through first on Jack Reinheimer’s second inning RBI single with runners at the corners and two outs. ECU added to its lead in the top of the third when Phillip Clark walked and scored on Corey Thompson’s two-RBI shot to left center to give East Carolina a 3-run cushion.

St. John’s answered in the bottom of the frame when Jimmy Brennan singled down the right side of the infield to score Matt Wessinger. The Red Storm added a second run as Jermey Baltz was hit by a pitch with the bases load to drive in Frankie Schwindel.

Back-to-back extra base hits from the Red Storm tied the game at three in bottom of the fourth.

The Pirates managed a run in the sixth and packed the sacks to chase Medina with one out in the frame. Red Storm closer Matt Carasiti came in to put down the threat getting the eight and nine hitters to pop-out into shallow right field on just two pitches.

In all, ECU left 10 runners on base in addition to the 12 they left in game one vs. the Red Storm.

St. John’s cut the Pirate lead to one in its half of the seventh. The Red Storm loaded the bases with one out following a second intentional walk in as many at bats to All Big East St. John’s shortstop Joe Panik. Baltz hit a sharp ground ball to ECU third baseman Corey Thompson who stepped on the bag to get one out and threw a rocket to first base that John Wooten appeared to pick out of the dirt to complete the double play. But the first base umpire called Baltz safe to score the run.

Baltz said he needed to do more with that at bat.

“I just didn’t come through; I hit a ground ball to the third baseman. I just got on top of the ball. Luckily we got one (run) in – and they almost had me at first. I just didn’t come through for my team there.”

Wooten led off the top of ninth with his 16th double of the season and came around to score an insurance run on Mike Ussery’s liner down the right field line.

Wessinger led the St. John’s offensive effort going 2-for-4 and scoring two runs.

#1 Virginia – 13
#2 East Carolina – 1

Tyler Wilson held the East Carolina Pirates (41-21) in check through 6.1 innings as the Virginia Cavaliers (52-9) claimed the Charlottesville Regional with a 13-1 win. Virginia will face off against Irvine, winners of the Los Angeles Regional next weekend in Charlottesville.

Wilson scattered seven hits, walked a batter and struck out five to improve to 8-0 on the season.

For the third time in three regional games Virginia used a double-digit hit offensive attack to take out an opponent. The Hoos recorded 10, 14 and 17 hits in the regional games scoring 29 runs over the weekend. Chris Taylor and Steven Proscia paced the Cavaliers as Taylor went 3-for-6 scoring two runs and adding four RBI. Proscia also has a three hit night going 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.

Kyle Crockett, Branden Kline and Cody Winiarski combined for 2.1 innings of shutout relief as ECU starter Zach Woods to the loss to fall to 2-2 on the year.

Virginia skipper Brian O’Connor was pleased with his teams efforts saying his team are playing about as well as possible.

“We need to feel good about what has been accomplished,” said O’Connor. “I think sometimes people can look at this thing and say, you’re the No. 1 overall seed, and you should win. But you’re seeing in regionals all across the country that that’s not happening. Top seeds aren’t necessarily winning their regionals. You have to play great baseball this time of year and these three ballgames we played in this regional we’ve played as well as we have all year. Our guys are getting after it all over the field, on the mound, at the plate, and doing some really great things.”

Proscia led off the second with a single just out of the reach of Pirate third baseman Corey Thompson reaching second on a throwing error by Woods. David Coleman drew a one-out walk to make way for Jared King. King delivered to drive home the first run as Phillip Clark fielded his liner cleanly and made a tremendous throw to the plate barely missing Proscia. Werman was hit by a pitch to load the bases and chase Woods after just an inning-and-a-third.

Shawn Armstrong’s fared no better.

Taylor singled to score two more and John Barr pulled Armstrong’s 2-2 offering through the right side of infield scoring Chris Taylor and Werman.

The Cavaliers continued the barrage in the fourth as Armstrong issued a one-out base-on-balls to Werman who moved to second on Taylor’s second hit of the game. Barr reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners for Hicks who delivered another, two-out hit – this time a two-out, RBI double.

That ended Armstrong’s day and ECU Head Coach Billy Godwin went to his closer Seth Simmons.

Proscia followed with another RBI double coming around to score on Hultzen’s RBI single. The Cavaliers added a run in sixth and two more in the seventh on Taylor’s 2-RBI single and one in ninth.

Wilson said his offense gave him everything he needed to get the job done.

“The guys came out and really set a tone offensively tonight,” noted Wilson. “Everyone was firing on all cylinders, executing with their at-bats and made every at-bat and quality at-bat. We were fortunate enough to string a few together; some guys had some really big hits, some two-out hits. As a pitcher, you can’t ask for anything more than that from my offense. My job is to just try to go out there and defend the scoreboard, whether it’s 10-0 or a tie ballgame.”

ECU scratched in its half of the fourth when Ben Fultz doubled and scored on John Wooten’s RBI single.