Thousands of fans showed up for the first round of the ECU regional tournament

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – It was a sea of purple as fans waited to cheer on ECU’s baseball team as they faced off against Evansville on Friday.

“Oh, it’s all about the Pirates. We got the Pirate blood going on in the culture and the atmosphere,” said Jim Pearce, an ECU baseball fan.

Families claimed their spots in line before the gates even opened.

“I got here about an hour ago, and the game starts in two hours,” said another fan, Michael Geelhart.

Another group said they couldn’t get in early enough.

“If we could’ve got here at six this morning, that’s what we would’ve done, but they didn’t open the parking lot soon enough for us,” said Pearce.

While other fans are experiencing the game as alumni for the first time, “It’s awesome. It’s super cool coming out. I guess, as an alumnus now, but I’ve always loved coming out here,” said ECU alumni Tanner Fields.

Joseph Mayancsik said it’s not his first time supporting as an alumni. He’s a Greenville native and always thinks tournaments like this are important to celebrate.

“This is just a big moment for our community. Growing up out here, it was a big deal if we had a regional. We’ve been blessed with a few of them these past few years, but you can’t take them for granted,” said Mayancsik.

But whether you’re a long-time fan or an alumni, the message is the same: “Let’s just take care of business,” said Mayancsik.

All of the ECU games this weekend are sold out, with more than 5,5 hundred fans supporting the ECU Pirates at their game earlier Friday. Unfortunately the Pirates lost and will next play Saturday at noon.