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Nowak's bases loaded hit in bottom of the 9th sends East Carolina past Wake Forest

GREENVILLE, N.C, (AP) — Luke Nowak's bases-loaded hit in the bottom of the ninth delivered the game winner and East Carolina beat Wake Forest with an improbable 7-6 win in the Greenville Regional of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

Wake Forest — once a preseason No. 1-ranked squad — saw its season come to an end. East Carolina (44-16) will face Saturday's loser between Evansville and VCU on Sunday.

The Pirates led 4-1 through eight innings but their season was on life support when five relievers surrendered five runs in the ninth. The bullpen's effort was in stark contrast to the 7 1/3 innings pitched by starter Trey Yesavage who struck out six and surrendered just one hit.

Facing a 6-4 deficit, the Pirates turned the script, sending eight batters to the plate to generate three runs for the win. After RBI singles by Jacob Jenkins-Cowart and Dixon Williams, Nowak singled through the right side to score Williams with the winning run.

Williams batted 3 for 4 with a home run, scored twice and drove in four runs for the Pirates.

The Demon Deacons' (38-22) Marek Houston went 1 for 3 and drove in a run and Nick Kurtz went 1 for 4 and drove in a pair.

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports