Wes Carroll is an Evansville man through and through, and his pride was on full display after his team became the only No. 4 regional seed to win on the opening day of NCAA Tournament.

The Purple Aces’ 4-1 victory over No. 16 national seed East Carolina on Friday came in their first game in the national tournament since 2006 and at one of college baseball’s most intimidating venues in Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina.

Freshman left-hander Kenton Deverman allowed a run and three hits over eight innings and Kip Fougerousse hit his team-leading 18th homer for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champions.

“What an incredible game for our program, for our fans and all of our alumni, the university, and the people watching back home,” Carroll said. “I knew we were an older club. I knew we had a lot of talent and we’d come in and handle that environment.

“For a freshman to do it, I think it was one of the most incredible performances I’ve seen for a Purple Ace in a baseball uniform in many, many decades.”

The 45-year-old Carroll’s childhood home was minutes from the Evansville campus, he grew up watching the Aces and later he and his older brother, 12-year major leaguer Jamey Carroll, played for them. The 16th-year coach said Deverman’s performance, to him, was reminiscent of Andy Benes’ 1-0 shutout of top-ranked Arizona State in the 1988 regionals for Evansville.

Next up is a game against VCU or Wake Forest on Saturday for a spot in Sunday’s regional final.

“I think a lot of people agreed we were a sleeper 4-seed,” Fougerousse said. “We could have easily been a 3-seed, but we didn’t care. We’re going to go out there and give it our all. MVC has got some great baseball. It’s a deep league, it’s a tough league, and I think we went out there and show a little bit what it’s like today.”

EARNING HIS STRIPES

LSU freshman Steven Milam hit four homers in 177 regular-season at-bats. He has hit four more in his last 25 — and they’ve been big ones.

The 5-foot-8 switch hitter homered twice in the defending national champion Tigers’ 4-3 win over Wofford. He went deep from the right side in the seventh inning for LSU’s first run and delivered the walk-off homer from the left side in the bottom of the ninth.

“I just hit one last week, so I’m kinda used to it a little bit,” a smiling Milam said.

Actually, Milam hit two homers in the SEC Tournament, including a walk-off shot to beat South Carolina in the semifinals.

It’s obvious from looking at Milam that he wears his heart on his hair. With the help of teammate Jake Brown’s girlfriend, he had it dyed blond and had purple tiger stripes added, a process that took two hours.

LAST FOUR IN CAN PLAY, TOO

Two of the last four teams to receive at-large bids picked up wins, and a third nearly got the job done.

Coastal Carolina, which will send coach Gary Gilmore into retirement after the season, scored all of its runs in the first three innings and got six solid innings from Riley Eikhoff in a 13-3 win over Vanderbilt. It was the fifth time this season the Commodores lost by at least 10 runs.

Indiana made fast work of Southern Mississippi, leading 8-0 in the fifth inning and collecting 17 hits in a 10-4 win. Brock Tibbitts and Morgan Colopy each homered and combined for seven RBIs.

James Madison was one out away from knocking off South Carolina when Joe Vogatsky hit a batter and Cole Messina followed with a tying two-run homer to force extra innings. A walk and an error in the bottom of the 10th set the stage for Will Tippett’s sacrifice fly in the Gamecocks’ 8-7 win.

BIG BATS

Charlie Condon went 3 for 3 and hit his nation-leading 36th homer in Georgia’s 8-7 win over Army. … Ashton Wilson doubled three times and hit his first homer for Florida in a 5-2 win over Nebraska. … Hudson White and Ben McLaughlin each connected twice and Arkansas totaled six homers in a 17-9 win over Southeast Missouri State.

MOUND MARVELS

West Virginia’s Derek Clark pitched his fourth complete game, allowing one run and four hits with eight strikeouts in a 4-1 win over Dallas Baptist. … Carson Dorsey allowed one run in 8 2/3 innings in Florida State’s 7-2 win over Stetson. … UConn’s Ian Cooke and Braden Quinn combined to scatter eight hits and strike out nine in a 4-1 win over Duke. … Virginia’s Joe Savino and Chase Hungate combined on a four-hitter with 11 strikeouts in a 4-2 win over Penn.

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