Texas rallies to edge East Carolina 9-8, forcing third game

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Dylan Campbell drove in the winning run with a two-out bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning and No. 9 overall seed Texas overcame a five-run deficit on Saturday to beat No. 8 seed East Carolina 9-8 and stay alive in the Greenville Super Regional.

The win by Texas (46-20) forces a Sunday showdown with East Carolina (46-20) with a berth in the College World Series on the line. East Carolina (47-19), hosting a super regional for the first time, had won 23 of its last 24 games before faltering against the Longhorns. The Pirates beat the Longhorns 13-7 on Friday.

Texas (45-21) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Eric Kennedy reached on a one-out single and stole second with two outs. Murphy Stehly drove in Kennedy with a single, stole second and scored on a throwing error by Pirates third baseman Alec Makarewicz.

Bryson Worrell got East Carolina on the scoreboard and cut the lead in half with a lead-off home run in the fourth.

Worrell doubled in two runs to ignite a five-run fifth, capped by freshman Jacob Jenkins-Cowart’s three-run homer to give the Pirates a 7-2 lead.

Texas stormed back. Lead-off batter Douglas Hodo III hit a two-run homer in the seventh to get the Longhorns within three. Murphy Stehly and Autin Todd led off the eighth with singles off new Pirates’ reliever Ben Terwilliger. Skyler Messinger followed with a three-run shot to end Terwilliger’s day. Carter Spivey entered and retired his first batter before surrendering a solo shot to Campbell that put the Longhorns up 8-7.

Jacob Starling hit a two-out solo homer in the top of the ninth off Texas reliever Andre Duplantier II (3-1) to tie the game.

Freshman Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman (1-1) started the ninth for East Carolina and yielded a lead-off single to Ivan Melendez. Todd was walked intentionally after a successful sacrifice bunt by Mitchell Daly. Messinger popped out before Silas Ardoin drew a walk to load the bases and set the stage for Campbell.

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