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Virginia and East Carolina Meet Again in Regional Winners' Bracket

By Matt Newton,


Almost exactly a year ago, Virginia and East Carolina played each other in the winners' bracket of the Greenville Regional. The Pirates were the No. 8 overall seed of the NCAA Tournament and defeated the Cavaliers 4-2 in a highly-competitive baseball game in front of an energetic crowd at Clark-LeClair Stadium. ECU went on to win the regional and advance to the Super Regional round.

364 days later, the Cavaliers and Pirates meet again in the winners' bracket of the Charlottesville Regional on Saturday night at Disharoon Park, with the winner sitting firmly in the driver's seat.

Virginia, the No. 7 overall seed in this year's NCAA Tournament, opened up the regional with a thoroughly convincing 15-1 win over Army on Friday afternoon. UVA scored 10 runs in the first two innings, starter Brian Edgington threw five perfect innings, and the Cavaliers scored 15 runs on 18 hits to crush the Black Knights.

East Carolina was similarly dominant in the nightcap, routing Oklahoma 14-5 behind an offensive outpouring of 14 runs on 15 hits. The Pirates gave up four runs in the last three frames when the game was already in hand. Otherwise, the final score would have looked nearly identical to UVA's win over Army.

That sets up a winners' bracket showdown between Virginia and East Carolina on Saturday night and the atmosphere at the Dish is expected to be off the charts. Despite playing at noon on a Friday, Virginia's game against Army set the program's postseason attendance record with 5,487 fans in attendance. East Carolina's fanbase travels notoriously well and the Pirate faithful proved it on Friday night, making the outfield bleachers at Disharoon Park look like the Williams Jungle in Greenville. The attendance record is expected to be shattered again with these two passionate fanbases colliding on Saturday night.

The baseball programs of Virginia and East Carolina are very familiar foes when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. This will be the fourth meeting between the Cavaliers and Pirates in postseason play. Only St. John's has faced UVA more times in NCAA regional play all-time. In 2011, Virginia defeated East Carolina 13-1 to clinch the Charlottesville Regional. In the 2016 NCAA Tournament, the Pirates got their payback, defeating the Cavaliers 8-6 and going on to win the Charlottesville Regional. Last season, ECU got the better of UVA again and went on to advance out of the Greenville Regional.

On Saturday at 6pm at Disharoon Park, Virginia (46-12) and East Carolina (46-17) will write the latest chapter of their postseason rivalry. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and CavaliersNow will be on site at Disharoon Park to provide live coverage.

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See more Virginia baseball news and content: Virginia Baseball on Sports Illustrated

See more Virginia sports news and content: Virginia Cavaliers on Sports Illustrated

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