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Pirates respond, rout at AAC tourney

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Jake Agnos follows through on a pitch last week against Memphis at Clark-LeClair Stadium.


The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

With its record-breaking pitching ace on the mound, East Carolina’s baseball team got back on track Wednesday at the American Athletic Conference tournament to set up an off day.

Top-seeded ECU cruised in an elimination game on Wednesday afternoon, defeating No. 5 seed Houston 13-2 to remain in Clearwater, Fla., and play either Connecticut or Wichita State in another elimination contest on Friday. No. 8 Wichita State beat the Pirates 6-2 on Tuesday to surprisingly drop ECU (43-14) to the losers’ bracket.

But it was all Pirates in their second postseason outing.

They never trailed against Houston (32-24), scoring in the top of the first inning and gaining a 9-1 lead after a five-run rally in the sixth.

Jake Agnos, the ECU and American single-season record-holder for strikeouts, pitched seven innings to improve his season record to 10-2 with a 2.00 ERA. The left-hander worked around four walks with seven strikeouts and a run allowed on four hits.

“Our guys were really locked in today,” Pirate coach Cliff Godwin said during his postgame interview on the American Digital Network. “When we show up and we have that mindset to play with a lot of energy and just compete our tails off, a lot of times we win. If we come out and just kind of show up then we can be beat and anybody can beat us, and Wichita State played a lot better than us yesterday.”

Agnos’ battery mate, catcher Jake Washer, hit two solo home runs. He passed Spencer Brickhouse for the team lead with 13.

Consecutive long shots to right field with two outs in the third inning staked the Pirates a 4-1 cushion. Bryant Packard was on base after he was hit by a pitch when Alec Burleson pulled a homer to right field, followed by Washer’s first solo shot to make it 4-1.

Washer finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Hot-hitting freshman designated hitter Thomas Francisco was 3-for-3 with a double.

UH, a usual league title contender, went 0-2 in the American tourney for the first time. UConn beat Houston, 4-3, on Tuesday.

Following Agnos on the mound was Cam Colmore, who yielded a run and got one out, and Zach Barnes for the final 1.2 innings.

The Pirates still have not used weekend starters Jake Kuchmaner or Tyler Smith. Burleson started and threw 100 pitches versus Wichita State.

Wednesday at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Durham saw Louisville lose and Georgia Tech win in pool play. Those teams are joined by ECU and others trying to secure top-eight national seeds for the NCAA bracket.

The Cougars manufactured a run in the bottom of the second when Brad Burckel came home on a wild pitch to stop Agnos’ scoreless streak at 32.2 innings. Agnos had three strikeouts and three walks through the first two frames, when it was 1-1.

The first inning featured Washer hitting an RBI single for the Pirates, who then got a big strikeout by Agnos in the bottom half of the frame. A walk loaded the bases with two outs, but Agnos fanned Blake Way to keep ECU up 1-0.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


August 24, 2019

Here’s our East Carolina beat writer Ronnie Woodward’s shot at ECU football’s starting lineup against N.C. State. First-year Pirate coach Mike Houston should be releasing the team’s Week 1 depth chart Tuesday during his news conference.

Here it is:


QB -- Holton…


August 24, 2019

First-year East Carolina football coach Mike Houston has mainly established his starters and is in the fine-tuning phase of August as the noon kickoff against N.C. State in Raleigh is exactly one week away.

ECU was established as a 17-point underdog to the Wolfpack and has the task of trying to…


August 24, 2019

East Carolina begins its first season under coach Mike Houston one week from today and is aiming to finish better than its three straight 3-9 records from 2016-18. The Pirates haven’t had a winning record since going 8-5 in 2014 under Ruffin McNeill.

Where are the wins in this year’s…


August 24, 2019

New East Carolina football players reported to preseason camp on Aug. 1, about eight months after athletics director Jon Gilbert and football coach Mike Houston reported to Greenville as instant leaders of a new era of Pirate athletics.

It is in many ways still a rebuilding project, which Gilbert…


August 22, 2019

East Carolina’s first athletic event of the academic year started and stopped and continued again and stopped again, then was canceled because of inclement weather.

ECU’s women’s soccer team was not able to finish Thursday night’s match against George Mason, even with the…


August 22, 2019

First-year East Carolina defensive coordinator Bob Trott and first-year Pirate football head coach Mike Houston were similar with their words Wednesday that they think they know what to expect from N.C. State's offense, but they said preparing for an opponent during Week 1 of the season is…


August 21, 2019

Many intricacies and focuses for East Carolina football players have changed with Monday's start to the fall semester and the N.C. State game a little more than a week away, but Pirate coach Mike Houston had no plans of intensity dipping with the transition from preseason workouts to in-season and…


August 20, 2019

No more waiting for Holton Ahlers or the rest of the East Carolina football team or Pirate fans.

With next Saturday’s noon kickoff at N.C. State getting closer and closer, first-year Pirate coach Mike Houston officially announced after Tuesday’s practice that Ahlers will be his…


August 20, 2019

Quarterback Holton Ahlers led East Carolina’s football team in rushing last season with 592 yards and six touchdowns on 119 carries.

New offensive principles are in place at ECU under a new coaching staff, leading to some intrigue about Ahlers and his run availability. Would this staff, led…


August 19, 2019

East Carolina first-year football coach Mike Houston described the Pirates' No. 1 center, Branden Pena, as a "tough joker" on Saturday.

The football-centric praise showed how far the relationship has come between Pena and Houston since December.

"Branden Pena is a guy that I didn't know his name…

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