Videos by OutKick
East Carolina baseball entered the AAC Tournament as the top-ranked seed Tuesday. The Pirates were paired with the eighth-seed USF Bulls in the first round and ran into trouble right away — in more ways than one.
They will have to play an elimination game on Wednesday without their star pitcher. Oof.
Here’s how the dissapointing situation proceeded to unfold:
East Carolina gave up two runs in the top of the first inning and quickly found itself in a hole. But not for long!
Second baseman Jacob Starling stepped into the box as the first Pirates batter of the game and unloaded on an 0-2 pitch. The solo shot soared deep to left field to cut the score to 2-1.
His teammates were pumped, obviously. They all came out of the dugout to celebrate Starling’s dinger.
Amidst the celebration, star pitcher Josh Grosz handed Starling some sort of item as he returned back into the dugout. It may have been a hot dog, but it appeared (and is rumored) to be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Here he is holding the item in question before Starling sent one deep:
As Starling headed back toward the dugout, Grosz offered him the item.
Starling did not appear to register Grosz’s offer at first and gave the item a high-five.
Grosz remained persistent.
Starling eventually caught on to what was happening and took the item back to the dugout.
Here’s another look in real-time. It looked like Starling took a bite of the item handed to him by Grosz.
Grosz was then ejected from the game as a result of the on-field, celebratory exchange. Seriously.
The (fun-hating) NCAA Baseball Rules Committee implemented a rule during the offseason that banned props from being used on the field. Grosz’s sandwich (hot dog?) was deemed a prop.
East Carolina’s No. 1 pitcher, Josh Grosz, was tossed.
Because he was tossed, he will not be able to make his next start.
Grosz will be disqualified from East Carolina’s next contest. He was slated to start the next game, but that is no longer the case because of his disqualification.
And to make matters worse, the Pirates lost to the Bulls in extra innings.
Now, after losing Tuesday, the Pirates will have a quick turnaround with an elimination game tomorrow. Grosz would have been on the bump. Not anymore.
And to make matters even worse, East Carolina must win at least its next two games to have any shot of hosting a Regional. Grosz will be allowed back for the second game, but it won’t matter if his team doesn’t get the job done without him on Wednesday.
All because of a sandwich. (Hot dog?)