GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Brent Widder’s grand slam was one of four home runs for Evansville and the Purple Aces reached the championship round of the Greenville Regional with a wild 17-11 victory over VCU on Saturday night.

Evansville (37-21) needs one win to claim the regional championship.

VCU (38-22) will play an elimination game against regional host East Carolina on Sunday and Evansville will play the winner later in the day. If Evansville were to lose, there would be a deciding game on Monday.

The Purple Aces led 13-0 through their half of the fifth inning, thanks in large part to a seven-run fifth that included Widder’s grand slam and a two-run homer from Cal McGinnis.

However, VCU got a two-run home run from Casey Kleinman and a solo shot from Chris McHugh in the bottom of the fifth, igniting a three-inning rally that would eventually put the tying run on deck in the seventh inning.

The Rams trailed 15-5 when they came to bat in the seventh, then they loaded the bases with two outs. Eli Weisner scored on a third-strike wild pitch and the bases remained loaded for William Bean, who belted a grand slam.

Now trailing 15-10, VCU loaded the bases again, but Weisner grounded out to end the inning.

Kip Fougerousse, who went 3 for 5 with three runs and three RBIs, homered to center field for two runs in the eighth for a 17-10 Evansville lead.

VCU had two runners on in the eighth, but Nic Ericsson grounded into a double play. The ninth inning also ended on a double play, although Brandon Eike had earlier driven in a run with a single.

Eike went 5 for 6, Kleinman was 4 for 6 with three RBIs, and Bean drove in four runs for VCU.

There were seven home runs in the game.


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