Maness, ECU Face UNC in Super Regional
Seth Maness and East Carolina earned a trip to the Super Regional phase of the NCAA baseball championships with a thrilling 10-9 victory over South Carolina Monday night.
The champions of the Greenville Regional will meet No. 4 national seed North Carolina in one of the eight best of three Super Regional series, beginning on Saturday. The eight winners will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., beginning June 13.
Maness, a former Pinecrest star, is expected to be one of the starting pitchers for the Pirates for the games that will be carried by ESPNU (Saturday at noon) and ESPN (Sunday and Monday, if needed). The Pirates had no margin for error in the double elimination event after South Carolina defeated them 12-2 on Saturday with Maness taking the loss. Playing on their home field, they rebounded by defeating Binghamton 16-9 on Sunday afternoon and South Carolina 8-6 in the evening. Former Richmond senior star Kyle Roller went 6-for-9 at the plate for the Pirates in the two games with three home runs and seven RBIs.
That set up Monday's third clash of the regional against the Gamecocks. The Pirates fell behind 6-0 after three innings and trailed 9-6, going to the bottom of the ninth. Devin Harris, a sophomore right fielder from Gastonia, tied the game with a three-run homer and then singled home the winning run in the 10th.
Maness started Saturday's second game of the regional against South Carolina after East Carolina won its opener earlier in the day over Binghamton.
Trailing 2-0 at the end of two innings against the Gamecocks, the Pirates left the bases loaded in the third, fourth and fifth frames without scoring. The Gamecocks then took command at 5-0 when they scored three times off Maness in the sixth. The sophomore right-hander allowed six runs on 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings. He takes a 9-2 record with two saves into the Super Regional held at Boshamer Field in Chapel Hill. One of the saves came in a 4-0 Pirate victory over the Tar Heels on April 22. The Tar Heels defeated the Pirates 3-1 in an earlier game.
Three teams from Conference USA and four from the ACC are included in the Super Regional field of 16 teams. The other seven pairings are: TCU-Texas, Florida-Southern Mississippi, Clemson-Arizona State, Louisville-Cal. State-Fullerton, Florida State-Arkansas, Mississippi-Virginia and LSU-Rice.
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