GREENVILLE, N.C. –  University of Evansville freshman starter Kenton Deverman tossed eight strong innings on Friday, and the Purple Aces used timely hitting to knock off the host and #16 national seed East Carolina, 4-1, in the first game of the Greenville (N.C.) Regional at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina.

“What an incredible game for our program, for our fans, for our alumni, and for our University watching back home,” said UE head coach Wes Carroll.  “I knew that we were an older club, I knew that we have a lot of talent and I felt like we would be able handle that environment.  But, for a freshman (like Kenton Deverman) to go out and do it, I think that it was one of the most incredible performances that I have ever seen by a Purple Ace.

“Kenton was incredible on the mound for us today!  We also had some seniors step up in some very big moments for us offensively, and defensively, we got a couple of great plays from Mark Shallenberger and Ty Rumsey in the outfield.  Overall, I was really proud of the effort that our guys gave today.”

Deverman (9-1) was magnificent, limiting East Carolina to just a single run on three hits in 8.0 innings of work.  Deverman’s lone blemish was a solo home run in the fourth inning by American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Carter Cunningham, but aside from that, he allowed just two singles, and did not allow another runner to advance past second base in his eight innings of work.

Evansville gave Deverman the lead for good in the second inning, thanks to a walk from graduate first baseman Chase Hug, a single by graduate third baseman Brent Widder and a sacrifice fly by graduate catcher Brendan Hord.  Senior designated hitter Kip Fougerousse then gave UE a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a solo home run to left-center field for his team-leading 18th home run of the year.  Fougerousse has now homered in five of UE’s last six games overall.

Cunningham would answer with a solo blast of his own into a stiff breeze blowing in from right field in the fourth inning to cut the UE lead to 2-1.  The score would remain 2-1 until the ninth inning, when Evansville would rally for two insurance runs.  After a walk by Fougerousse and a single by Hug along with an ECU error, Widder drilled a two-run single to center field off of ECU closer Danny Beal to give UE a 4-1 lead.  In the bottom of the ninth inning, senior reliever Shane Harris worked around back-to-back one-out singles to post a scoreless frame, capped by a strikeout to clinch UE’s 4-1 victory.

Widder went 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Fougerousse and Hug both had hits and scored a pair of runs each.  Overall, Evansville out-hit East Carolina, 6-5, in a well-played game in front of 5,628 fans at Clark LeClair Stadium.

With the victory, Evansville advances on to the winner’s bracket contest against the winner of tonight’s game between #2 Wake Forest and #3 VCU.  That game will take place on Saturday night at 5 p.m. central time and can be heard live in the Tri-State area on 107.1 FM-WJPS and seen live on ESPN+.  UE will bring a 36-23 overall record into Saturday’s game.