*Note: Game times for Saturday have been moved up to account for weather in Charlottesville.
It only took seven innings, but once the East Carolina bats woke up, they never looked back en route to a 9-1 win over the Bryant Bulldogs. The win propels the Pirates into the winners bracket where they will face the home team Cavaliers on Saturday at 4 P.M. (Moved up from 6 P.M.)
While it took East Carolina a few innings to get going, the same cannot be said for Bryant. The Bulldogs offense which came into the game as one of the best in the country never was able to get started. Give all the credit to ECU starter Evan Kruczynski who pitched seven shutout innings giving up six hits to go along with six strikeouts and only three walks. In the other dugout, Bryant starter James Karinchak matched Kruczynski pitch for pitch until the Pirates finally broke through in the seventh. Karinchak went 6.1, only giving up one earned run on just three hits to go along with eight strike outs.
East Carolina got on the board in the seventh, when Travis Watkins led off with a walk and advanced to third on Eric Tyler's single to right center. Watkins would score the games first run on a Bryce Harman sacrifice fly to center. The Pirates broke the game open in the eighth, when they combined six hits, two walks, and a couple Bryant wild pitches to score seven runs in the frame. East Carolina kept the pressure on scoring another run in the ninth thanks to hit by pitch, a Watkins a single and a double from Garrett Brooks.
Bryant was able to piece together a run in the bottom of the ninth, but by that time it was too little too late.
Charlie Yorgen and Watkins paced ECU with three hits apiece while Brooks drove in a pair.
Bryant will face off against William and Mary at 11 A.M.(Moved up from 1 P.M.) in an elimination game while East Carolina takes on the Hoos with the winner taking control of the regional. Just like Friday, weather figures to play a part in Saturday's action, so stay with Streaking the Lawn for news on impacting the day's games.