ECRU - Coach Chris Basil and his East Union Urchins went into Thursday and Friday's NEMCABB regionals looking to replace pitchers Josh Basil and Joel Wilkinson, who combined for 12 of the 22 wins on the 2019 season and owners of 1.60 and 1.79 ERA.
The Urchins gave Kagan Garrison, Carter Phillips and Hayden Roberts the ball in their three regional games at North Pontotoc and each starter delivered a complete game for the Urchins. The Urchins finished 2-0-1 for the tournament.
"They did a tremendous job for us," Basil said of the trio. "I thought they all commanded the strike zone and were able to throw breaking balls and fastball counts.
"I thought the key to this week was our guys on the mound. I'm SO proud of them and NO, we cannot replace those two from 2019, Basil and Wilkinson."
Garrison drew the game one start on Thursday and held a strong Lafayette team to a 3-3 draw as time expired before a winner could be determined.
Lafayette took an early lead in the first, but East Union came back to plate three runs in the third to take the lead.
Rett Johnson led off the frame and reached on an error and Hayden Roberts followed with a single. Rudy Baldwin would later walk and be followed by Garrison's bunt single. Two runs would score by error and Jace Basil would deliver the RBI groundout to give the Urchins a 3-1 lead.
Lafayette tied the contest with two runs in the fourth and appeared to be poised to take the win in the bottom of the sixth as they loaded the bases against Garrison.
However Garrison was able to escape the threat as he struck out the last two batters in the inning to preserve the no-decision at 3-3.
East Union 5, TCPS 1
Carter Phillips had a big game on the mound to start the day for the Urchins on Friday as he held TCPS to one run in the East Union 5-1 over former East Union assistant Drew Dillard's Eagles.
The Urchins struck first in the bottom of the first as Johnson singled and Roberts followed with a walk. Baldwin smashed a 2-RBI double to give East Union the 2-0 lead.
Phillips was solid on the mound as he worked 1-2-3 innings through three innings of play.
East Union added three runs in the bottom of the third as Roberts singled to lead off the frame. Baldwin delivered another RBI double and was followed by another RBI double by Connor Timms. The third Urchin run scored off an error off the bat of Basil for the 5-1 lead.
Phillips surrendered only two hits on the day and took the win in six innings of play.
East Union 10, North Pontotoc 6
The Urchins used a six-run second to race out to a 7-0 early lead and held off a late challenge by the Vikings for the 10-6 win in the nightcap.
East Union made use of three hits by Phillips, Baldwin and Timms, combined with two walks, a hit by pitch and error to grab a comfortable lead in the second.
North Pontotoc scratched their way back with a four-run third to close the score to 7-4, but the Urchins added three insurance runs in the fourth to ensure the win.
Timms reached on his single with one away and was followed by Collin Stephens who ripped a double into left. Jake Patterson came through with his 2-RBI single to score both runners and later scored on a wild pitch to give the Urchins a 10-4 lead.
North Pontotoc scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Urchin starter Roberts closed the door on the comeback and give East Union the 10-6 decision.
East Union drew a first round bye in this week's championship tournament at BNA Bank Park in New Albany and faced the winner of Bruce and New Albany.