Francisco, ECU beat Norfolk St. 8-5 at Greenville Regional

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Thomas Francisco hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to help East Carolina beat Norfolk State 8-5 on Friday at the double-elimination Greenville Regional.

East Carolina (42-15) had just five hits but drew seven walks — and three more Pirates were hit by a pitch — and scored four unearned runs off four Norfolk State errors.

Seth Caddell and Connor Norby walked before Francisco, on a full count, hit a two-out homer to make it 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth. Zach Agnos followed with a triple and then scored on a wild pitch.

The Spartans (25-27), who made the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance, had their six-game win streak snapped. Norfolk State beat North Carolina Central 7-6 in 11 innings to win its first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title on May 22 to earn an automatic tournament berth.

Freshman A.J. Wilson (1-0) came on in the top of the sixth with one out and runners on the corners. He struck out Jason Council and then balked — scoring Norfolk State’s Ty Hanchey from third base and moving Mason Velasquez from second to third — before he got Khie Simms swinging to end the inning and earn his first win.

Hanchey went 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI and two runs for Norfolk State. Velasquez added two hits, two stolen bases and scored from third when Council was caught in a rundown after attempting to steal second.


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