In a game that saw the Cavaliers unable to execute on multiple occasions, the Pirates were able to take advantage of timely hitting in the 9th to send UVa to the loser's bracket in the Charlottesville regional.
Connor Jones got the ball to start, but it was clear he did not have his best stuff. The highly touted righty did not have a 1-2-3 inning his entire 5.1 inning outing, constantly getting into trouble, but escaping the big inning. In the end, Jones did leave the game in the 6th with a 4-3 lead, and it would only get better from there.
Leading 4-3 in the 8th the Hoos were able to get some insurance on the board and seemingly put the game away. Pavin Smith knocked a 1 out home run over the right field fence, his second home run of the day, to give UVa a 5-3 lead. After Daniel Pinero and Adam Haseley got on board, Charlie Cody's sac fly scored Pinero to give the Hoos the 6-3 lead.
The Cavaliers cruised through the 8th only giving up a single.
After going down in order in the top of the inning, the world fell apart. ECU got a leadoff single, followed up by a double, which was followed up by another single to cut the lead to 6-5. After a sac bunt moved the ECU runners up to 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, ECU's Travis Watkins sent Tommy Doyle's 1-1 offering over the left field fence to give the Pirates the 8-6 victory.
The Hoos will now play William and Mary Saturday morning in an elimination game with the winner advancing to play East Carolina later Sunday afternoon. If ECU is going to be eliminated, either the Tribe or the Cavaliers must beat the Pirates Sunday afternoon and then again Monday.
The good news is UVa has not been eliminated yet. The bad news is the Cavaliers have never come out of the loser's bracket in an NCAA Regional to advance to the Super Regionals. Only once has UVa come out of the loser's bracket to play the winner's bracket champion, in 2004 UVa dropped their opener before ultimately being eliminated by Vanderbilt on Sunday.
First pitch between UVa and William and Mary has been moved up to 11. The Cavaliers might not have enough pitching to win three straight games, but crazier things have happened.