East Carolina baseball coach heated after regional loss

East Carolina baseball coach Cliff Godwin on the field during a game against NC State.

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The Eastern Carolina The baseball team’s season came to an end on Monday after an upset at the hands of Evansville. The Pirates failed to advance out of the regional field despite being one of the top 16 seeds in the country.

After the loss, head coach Cliff Godwin was furious. The post-match handshake line turned into a shouting match as the manager expressed his disgust at the opposing Purple Aces.

In one of the most exciting opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament, an unexpected outcome occurred in the regional final. Evansville emerged victorious after the four-day event, becoming only the ninth four-seed in college baseball history to advance to a Super Regional series.

Things got off to a good start for the Purple Aces (and a tough one for ECU) as Evansville defeated the Pirates in Game 1. ECU would battle back into the losers bracket, while Evansville stayed perfect, setting up a rematch on Sunday with the Pirates’ season on the line.

East Carolina got the job done in that elimination game, albeit with a little help from the refereeing crew, to force a winner-take-all rubber match on Monday. That decisive final match certainly produced results!

The host nation Pirates seemed on their way to redemption and took a 5-2 in the second half of the fifth frame. The fear was over and the plan was back on track… right? Wrong!

The Purple Aces weren’t going down without a fight, scoring four runs over their next two at-bats to take a 6-5 lead. They eventually took that lead thanks to a triple bomb from Mark Shallenberger.

The score would remain that way until the end of the game as Evansville held ECU off the scoreboard for the final four innings.

A party soon followed!

East Carolina’s baseball coach was excited!

As Evansville players ran onto the field to celebrate their victory, Cliff Godwin was seen arguing with the Purple Aces coaching staff in the post-game handshake line.

Was he angry at the dog pile on his home field? The final result? It was probably a bit of both, given the deflating and unexpected end to the year.

The 2024 Pirates had hoped to be the team that would break through and eventually get the program to Omaha. Instead, the season ended like so many times before, with a failure to get out of the first round.

As for Evansville, they will continue to celebrate this win all week. Unfortunately, the road to Omaha doesn’t get any easier with Tennessee, No. 1 overall in the country, waiting!

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