The Pirates closed the regular season by taking two of three games from Texas-San Antonio at Clark-LeClair Stadium. Their lone loss was at the hands of Nolan Trabanino, who kept East Carolina at bay for 7.1 innings.
Thursday night, the Pirates met Trabanino again in their second round, winner's bracket matchup in the Conference USA Tournament and, once more, they were stymied by the sophomore southpaw.
Trabanino allowed four hits and struck out eight batsmen in a career-high eight innings pitched and received plenty of run support in UTSA's 8-3 victory at Pete Taylor Park. The Roadrunners collected 12 hits with eight of their starters supplying at least a hit against ECU pitching.
While Trabanino (9-3) had his longest start, junior right-hander Tyler Bolton (2-5) had his shortest – lasting just one inning and giving up four runs. Brett Mabry came on relief, but could not stop the bleeding; allowing four more runs over the next five innings.
The Pirates fell behind 6-0 before getting a run back on Drew Reynolds' sacrifice fly to left field that plated Hunter Allen, who scored the game-winning run in the eleventh inning of Wednesday's victory over hosting Southern Miss.
However, the result was never in question.
John Welbon led the way offensively – going 3-for-5 at the plate and scoring three runs Thursday – and dotted the proverbial explanation point of the Roadrunners' dominance with an RBI triple in the top of the sixth inning.
The Pirates added two inconsequential runs in the eighth inning on Zach Houchins' RBI groundout to second base that plated Charlie Yorgen and Dylan Brown's sacrifice fly to center that drove in Reynolds.
In the C-USA Tournament's double-elimination format, the Pirates have earned another date with Southern Miss Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Counting Wednesday's result, the Pirates and Golden Eagles have spilt their four meetings in 2014.
Earlier on Thursday, Southern Miss edged out Alabama-Birmingham 4-3 in an elimination game in the loser's bracket. Friday's winner will face UTSA Saturday with a berth to the tournament's championship game hanging in the balance.
The Pirates' likely starter is red-shirt sophomore David Lucroy, albeit the red-shirt sophomore lasted just one inning against Southern Miss in his last start. If it is not Lucroy, freshman Davis Kirkpatrick or possibly Ryan Williams could be options for Head Coach Billy Godwin.