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FALL BASEBALL: Five observations


Brady Lloyd slides into second base during a scrimmage at Clark LeClair Stadium on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.


The Daily Reflector

Saturday, November 11, 2017

I saw a decent amount of East Carolina baseball practices and scrimmages this fall for coach Cliff Godwin’s fourth season. Here are some end-of-fall observations:

- Benton-Agnos could be special: ECU has a clear 1-2 punch atop its starting pitching rotation in sophomores Jake Agnos and Trey Benton. Agnos’ stuff is still electric from the left side and I heard Benton looked at different ways to improve his demeanor on the mound and it looks like he really wants to take over as the Friday guy for good. My guess is that’s the case come February and he is backed up by Agnos on Saturday and then there is Chris Holba, Davis Kirkpatrick, Tyler Smith, maybe Gavin Williams and others to fill out a rotation that could be as dependable as it’s been in years. The lead arms just need to stay healthy, and that certainly starts with Benton-Agnos.

- Lloyd’s role: Brady Lloyd once again had a nice fall and should factor into the infield situation, maybe as a starter. He has worked at third base, shortstop and second base, and left camp probably with a slight edge over Nick Barber at second. Injuries to newcomers Collin Watt and Connor Litton left Eric Tyler (now a coach) playing third base for both teams at the Purple-Gold World Series, but the Pirates’ hope is that Litton is OK and is the starter there and that could mean Lloyd does play prominently at second base. Junior shortstop Turner Brown has taken over as a team leader.

- Catcher: Godwin expressed confidence this fall in Seth Caddell (freshman) and redshirt sophomore Jake Washer as being steady catchers. My guess is you will see both get a shot in the spring, maybe into the season. I liked what I saw defensively from Caddell in Game 1 of the fall World Series, but he also had a passed ball late in the scrimmage. Washer has the advantage of playing some last season. Travis Watkins’ strength late in his career really was his calming presence and leadership with young pitchers, and that will be the biggest transition at catcher for this season. That could be more important than actual production from that position.

- Williams throws heat: Six-foot-6 freshman Gavin Williams maybe should be in pro rookie ball right now. His velocity in the low to mid 90s is legit. The secondary stuff still is a work in progress, which screams closer role if the coaching staff thinks he can handle it and he performs. That also could depend on how the Pirates’ rotation shakes out behind Benton and Agnos, but Williams seems poised to fill an important role somewhere.

- The big bat? Pitching depth was evident during the fall, but if there any offensive concerns it could be: Who is your fastball? Is it Spencer Brickhouse being a 10+ home run force or does Dwanya Williams-Sutton take the next step and put up a great and consistent season at the plate? Or a newcomer like Litton or Alec Burleson or Chandler Jenkins surprise people? The Pirates have good pieces like Dusty Baker and Brown and other speedy players to set the table, and knocking them in will be a big factor in the season.


Humans of Greenville


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


August 15, 2018

As much pressure as there is on the East Carolina running backs to make big plays when they are in space, there is possibly even more pressure on the Pirates’ offensive line to create adequate space for the backs to roam.

Linemen and running backs working cohesively is paramount for a…


August 15, 2018

Check out some video clips from the start of East Carolina football practice Wednesday morning, featuring heavy special teams work and some other position-specific drills.

Some fumble drill action this morning at #ECU practice. Defense also was doing similar drills ... pic.twitter.…


August 14, 2018

A theme from Saturday’s East Carolina football scrimmage continued Tuesday when the Pirates began their final week of preseason camp and coach Scottie Montgomery said the defense was overall more productive than the offense.

Part of it was because of the defense winning a lot of battles in…


August 14, 2018

Dave Hart’s role as special athletics adviser to East Carolina Chancellor Cecil Staton has been extended through football season, in part because of the difficulties the Pirates are facing financially as they prepare for another scholastic and athletics year.

Hart’s original six-month…


August 14, 2018

Jack Reinheimer is with the New York Mets, giving East Carolina two former players currently on active Major League Baseball rosters. Pitcher Mike Wright (Baltimore Orioles) is the other player.

Former ECU pitcher Jharel Cotton is on the Oakland Athletics’ 40-man roster, but not active as he…


August 14, 2018

Of all the statistics that doomed East Carolina’s football team in 2017, and on defense in particular, a glaring disparity was that ECU scored 31 points off turnovers and opponents finished with 121.

Third-year head coach Scottie Montgomery has stressed for ECU defenders to be more aggressive…


August 13, 2018

East Carolina connecting on deep passes Saturday during a preseason scrimmage was sometimes directly tied to quarterback scrambles.

There were no quarterback-designed runs as suggested by the coaching staff to protect the passers from injury, but the ECU trio of Reid Herring, Holton Ahlers and…


August 11, 2018

It remains difficult for East Carolina’s offense to run against the ECU defensive front, which led to the team airing it out Saturday during the first scrimmage of the preseason.

Defensive backs and receivers battled for the football often to highlight the 100-plus play scrimmage at Dowdy-…


August 11, 2018

There is no question that Trevon Brown is East Carolina’s best receiver, and big production will be needed out of him again for the Pirates to reach their goal of making a bowl game, but opportunity also remains behind Brown.

Brown is a senior and bound to see double-teams and plenty of…


August 10, 2018

ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton has requested an independent audit of the university’s athletic department in hopes of putting to rest continuing concerns raised about the financial health of the Pirates’ sports program.

Staton told The Daily Reflector in a conversation Wednesday he…

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