After losing a five-run lead Saturday and sitting through a five-hour weather delay Sunday, East Carolina baseball came up one game short of the College World Series.
Texas raked at the plate from the first pitch and put up four quick runs before the game went into a weather delay with one out in the top of the first. Following the break, the Longhorns continued to pile on, building an eight-run lead by the end of the second.
By then, it was all but over. ECU lost, 11-1, falling a win short of earning the program its first CWS appearance.
Here are three takeaways from East Carolina’s Game 3 loss in the Greenville Super Regional:
Omaha out of reach
The Pirates have made 20 more NCAA Tournament appearances than the next-closest program to never reach the College World Series. On Saturday, that streak looked like it would be broken.
ECU led by five runs in the seventh inning and by three in the bottom of the eighth, just six outs away from clinching the series. Even after falling behind, they came back to tie the game before a Texas walkoff extended the series.
Game 3 didn't go according to plan, either.
Even after coming so close in the historic program’s 32nd NCAA appearance, East Carolina missed history by a few outs.
No rain delay reset
For a moment, it looked like the Pirates might have come out of the weather delay as the stronger team.
They got out of the top of the first and put a run on the board in the bottom of the inning to shrink Texas’ lead. But after Texas added five more runs in the second, ECU’s offense was silent for the rest of the game. The Pirates finished with just five hits — all of which were singles — and rarely got into scoring position.
ECU starter Danny Beal allowed the first four runs and was pulled in the first inning before recording an out.
Lacking a true ace, the Pirates have relied on a bullpen-heavy approach for much of the season and it has largely been successful, as ECU ranked in the top 25 nationally in both ERA and WHIP. But throughout the super regionals, the Pirates staff struggled.
ECU allowed 27 runs in three games, and after Texas piled on the runs in the first two innings Sunday, it was too late for ECU’s bats to make a difference.
This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: East Carolina baseball loses to Texas in NCAA super regional Game 3