LUBBOCK, Texas —- Sometimes it is just so hard to say good by and except the end but that is East Carolina University baseball team had to swallow, Sunday afternoon under a blazing Texas sun inside Rip Griffin Park.
The taste of defeat is bitter and the Pirates did not enjoy losing to Texas Tech University 11-0, allowing the Red Raiders to move forward to play in the 2016 NCAA College World Series being played in the city of Omaha, Nebraska.
Texas Tech University did not waste any time to get runs across the plate and put the pressure on the Pirates.
The Red Raiders loaded the bases in the first inning, scored three runs and chased Pirates starting pitcher Jacob Wolfe from the game.
East Carolina University baseball coach Cliff Godwin had no trouble finding the pathway to the mound, he made six calls to the Pirates bull pen.
Texas Tech offense pushed out 14 hits with five Red Raider batters getting multiple hits, led by third base man Hunter Hargove, he finished the game 3-of-5 and he knocked in four runs.
Texas Tech University baseball coach Tim Tadlock and his team received a strong pitching performance Erikson Lanning, he closed the door on the Pirates batters and helped Tadlock to unfold the map showing the direction to Omaha.
“You need to realize players win games and you can get them here but then they’ve got to perform,” Tadlock said after the game. “These guys have done a great job. It’s really fun watching them.”
Lanning worked seven innings, striking out six, walking two but most important he only gave up just two hits before stepping aside and allowancing relief pitcher Hayden Howard a chance to keep the Pirates from making history.
“Well, we’ve been working really hard,” Lanning said. “All the pitchers are all ways working really hard and just some minor things working with coach Ray Hayward, he showed me that and then having the guys always behind me. It’s a really, really big factor in it, too!”
The bats for the Pirates went to bed and fell asleep at the wrong time and never received a wake up call and East Carolina University could only get a total of two hits.
“Offensively, we need to be within striking distance because typically we’re not going to be a team that just sits back and out slug somebody,” Godwin said about his team’s offense. “I know we’ve hit some home runs recently but when your down six runs its tough to be able to come back.”
Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American, left fielder Dwanya Williams-Sutton. He led the American Athletic Conference in batting .372 but he also led the league in slugging and on-base percentage.
Williams-Sutton only had one plate appearance and he hit a fly ball to center field and that ended his day.
The final out that ended the game a ground ball to second base hit by Travis Watkins and the celebration commenced with plenty of Gatorade being pour on top of the player’s pile on the infield. The only thing that the Pirates could do was to line up, watch, hear the excitement and wait for the hand shake.
Godwin know to well that there is no moral victories and he also knows that the Pirates had the chance of a life time Saturday afternoon in the 12th inning with the bases loaded and the Pirates did not get the timely hit that they needed to win the game and to record their win their first ever Super Regional and the their first trip to the College World Series in history.
The dream did not come through for the Pirates.
Instead Godwin and his team will board the team bus that will take a quiet bus ride to the airport, were the Pirates will take an even quieter plane ride back to Greenville, North Carolina and waiting for the Pirates, another bus ride this time back to campus.
In the hours before dawn, East Carolina University baseball team will still be trying to consol each other, try to make some kind of sense about happen in Texas before saying good bye to each other and saying hello to the off season but understand they will be-waiting for next season.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation.
I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.