College baseball: East Carolina ousted; Wolfpack still alive

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 13, 2021

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jack Leiter had 10 strikeouts in seven innings on Saturday and No. 4 seed Vanderbilt advanced to the College World Series with a 4-1 win over No. 13 seed East Carolina in Game 2 of the Nashville Super Regional.

Leiter (10-3) allowed two hits, one of them a solo home run to Josh Moylan in the seventh. It was the only run the Commodores (45-15) allowed during the series. Vanderbilt beat ECU 2-0 in Friday’s opener.

Vandy will make its fifth trip to Omaha, all coming since 2011, and will defend the title it won in 2019.

East Carolina starter Carson Whisenhunt (6-2) left the game while it was scoreless in the fifth inning, but he walked Javier Vaz and Jayson Gonzalez, who scored on Carter Young’s single off reliever Matt Bridges.

Enrique Bradfield Jr. added a one-run double for Vandy in the ninth and Dominic Keegan’s bases-loaded walk made it 4-1.

The Pirates (44-17) dropped to 1-12 all-time in super regional games.

NC State bounces back from 21-2 shellacking

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Jose Torres hit the first of three N.C. State home runs in the fourth inning and the Wolfpack beat No. 1 seed Arkansas 6-5 on Saturday and avoid elimination.

N.C. State (34-18), which allowed 17 hits and 21 runs in a Game 1 loss on Friday, gave up just four hits Saturday to force a Game 3.

The Wolfpack have won seven of the last eight games away from home and handed Arkansas (50-12) its seventh loss in 37 games at Baum-Walker Stadium this season.

Sam Highfill (8-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, with five strikeouts. He gave up just two hits — a two-run homer by Charlie Welch that opened the scoring in the second inning and a solo shot by Brady Slavens. Evan Justice struck out four over the final 2 2/3, giving up one unearned run on two hits and no walks.

Terrell Tatum singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning before Torres and Luca Tresh hit back-to-back home runs and, two batters later, Vojtech Mensik hit a solo shot to give N.C. State a 5-2 lead.

After Tresh scored on a groundout by J.T. Jarrett to make it 6-2, Slavens homered to center field and Welch and Cullen Smith each scored following a throwing error in the seventh. Kevin Kopps came on in the bottom of the inning and pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts. The senior, who is 12-0 with 11 saves and a 0.65 ERA this season, hasn’t allowed a run in 15 1/3 innings over four appearances in the month of June.

Mensik scored on a groundout by Tyler McDonough in the bottom of the third inning to pull the Wolfpack to 2-1.

In Friday’s game, Robert Moore went 4-for-5 with two home runs and a double, finishing with five runs batted in and five runs scored as No. 1 overall seed and top-ranked Arkansas romped. Charlie Welch also went 3-for-4 with a homer and a double, driving in four and scoring four times while raising his average to .400 on the season.