June 5, 2011


East Carolina and St. John's get after it

By Barry Davis

Head Baseball Coach – Rider University

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com


Barry Davis has led the Rider Broncs for the past seven seasons, guiding them to the NCAA tourney in 2008 and 2010. A Charlottesville, Va., native, Davis will provide insights on the Charlottesville Regional.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – On a day when you (the coach) are supposed to hold nothing back, East Carolina and St. John's did just that in the 1 p.m. elimination game. Both teams got after it.

Here are some examples:

Sacrifice bunts by more than one, a successful squeeze play, hit and runs, intentional walks to the same guy twice (even when he is the go ahead run), using closers in the seventh, using middle relievers who average two innings per outing for five innings to win the game, and if I thought of more, I could come up with a few additional things.

After 298 pitches were thrown, the dust settled and East Carolina advanced with a 6-4 win.

Here are some interesting things that occurred:

* More walks than strikeouts. 10-9

* Only three, three up, three down innings (18)

* 20 runners left on base. Interesting that Mike Ussery had a key RBI single in the top of the ninth for ECU after leaving five on himself.  That's why you play the entire the game and focus on the next AB.

* ECU's first three runs, two runners had reached by walking as the leadoff batter.  They always seem to come back to hurt you...I've had plenty of experience with that.

In summary, ECU did just enough to pull out the win. St. John's proved that it did deserve to be in the tournament. They competed and won a game against a quality opponent in East Carolina. Many other programs who were ranked much higher than they were cannot say that.   

East Carolina now gets UVA at 6. It will be time to reach down and pull some more things out of that hat.