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Year in review: On the diamond

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East Carolina senior Charlie Yorgen, right, is called safe at second base during a game against Western Carolina at Clark-LeClair Stadium on March 3.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Friday, December 29, 2017

There was a lot of intrigue in eastern North Carolina for this year’s college baseball season, which for East Carolina featured unprecedented hype followed by an unpredictable and trying time on the diamond.

For Pitt Community College, its season ended at the World Series level.

ECU had similar aspirations in the NCAA’s top division and, according to some national pundits, had a serious shot at a trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The Pirates were tagged in the preseason with a No. 6 ranking by Baseball America — ECU’s best ranking in school history — but by the time the season hit its midway point, the Pirates were doomed by injuries and losing skids en route to a 32-28 record and they missed the postseason for the first time under coach Cliff Godwin.

This came after the Pirates went 38-23-1 in 2016 and were rolling with momentum after almost winning the NCAA Lubbock Super Regional. Baseball America and D1baseball.com both picked ECU during the preseason to make the College World Series, but the team never really got close to its ultimate goal.

Still, East Carolina’s nine-man senior class ended as maybe the most accomplished class in program history thanks to previous victories and championships.

“They are responsible for the culture of this baseball program changing, not just on the field but also off the field,” said Godwin, whose team did shake off the disappointing regular season to make a run to the American Athletic Conference tournament championship game and lost to favored Houston. “No matter what happens to them on the baseball field, they are going to be winners in life.”

At PCC, veteran coach Tommy Eason guided his talented squad to Enid, Okla., for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II World Series. Pitt went 1-2 in its second-ever World Series competition, finishing with a 42-9 record.

The Bulldogs’ softball team also made the NJCAA World Series.

“It shows you that Pitt Community College believes in athletics and what we are doing,” interim athletics director Dawn Manning said in early June.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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ECU

July 16, 2018

CARY — The 16th annual Bill Dooley Pigskin Preview followed tradition Monday and turned into part comedy act by the five coaches involved and part serious football talk.

East Carolina third-year coach Scottie Montgomery and N.C. Central interim coach Granville Eastman were joined by Atlantic…

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July 16, 2018

Speaking engagements and vacation time for college football coaches will turn into full preseason practices in less than a month, but for now there is still some balancing of obligations.

First-year East Carolina defensive coordinator David Blackwell has worked on specific details with his players…

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July 15, 2018

David Blackwell has coached college football at Pittsburgh and South Florida, which is located in Tampa.

He said it was easy to recognize that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL are kings in those cities.

He also is a former East Carolina football player and student…

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July 14, 2018

The Cuba team put together an abundance on runs Saturday for a 15-4 victory over the visiting USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, but USA still finished its summer with a 12-3 record and won all three of its international series.

The Americans featured East Carolina head coach Cliff Godwin as…

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July 12, 2018

The success of a profitable NCAA baseball regional held at Clark-LeClair Stadium in June and positive vibes from fans at recent Pirate Club armada events had officials optimistic at Thursday’s Athletics and Advancement Committee portion of the East Carolina Board of Trustees meeting, but the…

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July 12, 2018

East Carolina standout and Greenville native Bryant Packard went 2-for-4 as the leadoff hitter in Game 1 for the USA Collegiate National Team in the USA vs. Cuba series in Havana, Cuba, on Tuesday night.

Game 2 on Wednesday night saw ECU pitcher Jake Agnos throw four innings with three…

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July 12, 2018

July is a big month for college football fans to soak up preseason hype in the form of magazines, predictions and projections of all kinds.

These things have not been kind already to East Carolina, which has posted consecutive 3-9 seasons under coach Scottie Montgomery.

The Phil Steele Preview…

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July 11, 2018

A major “wow moment” happened for Blake Taylor before he even teed off last Thursday at The Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., for his PGA Tour debut.

It came Tuesday during a practice round for the East Carolina rising junior while playing with PGA veteran Jim Furyk.…

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July 10, 2018

East Carolina men’s golf coach Andrew Sapp is the president of the Golf Coaches Association of America, and serving in that role put him in Avion, France, last week.

He was there for the Arnold Palmer Classic, which is a Ryder Cup-style event for college golfers, while current Pirate…

Greenbrier Golf

July 09, 2018

East Carolina football hit double-digits for the month of June alone in verbal commitments from recruits.

The significance of this is magnified with most of July as a recruiting dead period enforced by the NCAA, which also typically leads to coaching staff members across the country to use vacation…

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