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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.


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.


Humans of Greenville


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


October 19, 2018

Central Florida’s 19-game football winning streak saw its closest contest yet last Saturday at Memphis.

The 10th-ranked Knights recovered from a slow start and rallied to win, 31-30, for a 6-0 record this season.

Following that emotional victory with a road game versus a struggling opponent…

SMU UCF Football

October 18, 2018

Less than three weeks away from starting a new season on Nov. 6, the East Carolina women’s basketball team had a major change in leadership Wednesday when head coach Heather Macy resigned at the conclusion of an ECU internal review into the program.

Macy, who is the winningest coach in ECU…


October 18, 2018

A look at individual defensive statistics with the halfway point of the college football season already passed shows that what East Carolina’s Nate Harvey is doing is not a fluke.

In his first season playing defensive line, the former Pirate running back and linebacker leads the nation with…


October 17, 2018

East Carolina women’s basketball coach Heather Macy resigned on Wednesday after the conclusion of an internal review led by the ECU athletics’ office of compliance, citing her misunderstanding of practice rules.

Macy became the Pirates’ all-time leader in women’s…


October 17, 2018

The go-to saying for East Carolina basketball coach Joe Dooley regarding forward Seth LeDay is that LeDay is the best fast-twitch player for the Pirates this year.

What is fast-twitch?

“He has a quick first jump and a quick second jump,” Dooley said. “I like those fast-twitch guys.…


October 16, 2018

Saturday night will serve as the first-career start at East Carolina for true freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers, a Greenville native, and it will be the 29th for senior right tackle Garrett McGhin.

Ahlers is left-handed, which puts the right tackle McGhin in charge of protecting the rookie’s…


October 15, 2018

East Carolina did not have a men’s or women’s basketball player lauded by the American Athletic Conference as a preseason all-conference pick.

The AAC released its preseason polls Monday, which had the ECU men 11th out of 12 teams and the Pirate women in eighth place.

UCF led the…


October 15, 2018

It is the time of year when perspectives can become very contrasting for college football teams depending on where they are in the standings.

Very often, the great teams already have found ways to survive and stay on top, whereas the hard-luck teams often continue to lament coming close but not…

UCF Memphis Football-14

October 15, 2018

The East Carolina football team is turning to true freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers for this week and with a long-term plan in mind for the 6-foot-3, 236-pound left-hander to be the leader of the ECU offense.

Coach Scottie Montgomery announced Monday during his weekly news conference that Ahlers,…


October 15, 2018

One thing that stands out with first-year coach Joe Dooley about the East Carolina basketball team’s big men is their potential.

The Pirates are not going to overpower many teams in the post — they’re tallest player is 6-foot-9 freshman Rico Quinton — and they are young, but…

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