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Jake Agnos is interviewed during media day at Clark LeClair Stadium on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018.


The Daily Reflector

Monday, February 5, 2018

Familiar faces who led the last few East Carolina baseball teams have exited and officially given way to emerging leaders.

Some of those players were put in the spotlight Monday for the Pirates’ annual media day event, answering questions about an optimistic and refocused club that is aiming to get back to the NCAA postseason after missing out a year ago despite sky-high preseason expectations.

Nobody has moved to the forefront more in terms of leadership than Turner Brown. The now-veteran shortstop is back for his junior season with 113 career starts already to his credit.

“I mean my first interview I freaked out, so I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable and it’s easier,” said Brown, who added there doesn’t seem to be a hierarchy with this squad in terms of which players can speak up at a certain time.

Outfielder Dwanya Williams-Sutton, also a junior, is another key player and is aiming for a full and productive season after injuries have limited him in the past. He also said he has worked on being more present and demonstrative with teammates despite that not naturally being easy for him.

“Something bad is going to happen in the outfield and you may drop a ball, but I’m an older guy and I need to speak up more when I’m out there and make them feel comfortable,” he said. “(Communicating) is the most important part I feel like out on the field, because you need communication to have a successful team.”

Offsetting a batting lineup that could remain fluid during the first few weeks of the season, which begins Feb. 16 at home against Western Carolina, is a pitching staff led by a solid and experienced quartet of Jake Agnos, Trey Benton, Chris Holba and Tyler Smith.

Fourth-year coach Cliff Godwin shed some light on the weekend rotation, saying that Holba is slated for the Sunday starting spot. That likely means a rotation of Benton, Agnos and Holba to begin the campaign.

“(Holba) did not pitch this weekend, but he will pitch on Sunday (in a scrimmage) and hopefully go three innings,” Godwin said of the right-handed junior who has experienced some arm soreness this preseason. “As it is scheduled, he will pitch on Sunday opening weekend.”

Benton and Agnos are both sophomores who are looking to build on their success from a season ago. They both were at media day and looked poised one year after they were rookies in preseason and trying to find their way on a senior-laden team.

“I’ve been someone who has always had a chip on my shoulder and especially if I want to be a starter and a go-to guy, I’m going to have to have that every time I come out,” Agnos said. “I think the pitching staff as a whole has done a good job just going out there with the chip on their shoulder and acting the part and playing the part and acting like they have been there before.

“We’ve all gotten better and done a good job of communicating and coaching one another and being able to take that criticism or that coaching. It’s just been fun to be around these guys and I think collectively as a whole we have kind of evolved and grown together.”

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.


February 23, 2019

American Athletic Conference basketball has a unique opportunity in New Orleans tonight with one team bound to achieve a breakthrough victory.

East Carolina is 0-9 in road games this season heading into its matchup with Tulane, which is 4-21 overall and has not won an AAC game all season at 0-13.…


February 22, 2019

Mother Nature has affected East Carolina baseball’s schedule for another weekend.

ECU announced late Friday morning that it will not play Monmouth on Friday, but instead will begin a doubleheader Saturday at 4 p.m. at Clark-LeClair Stadium. 

The No. 11 Pirates (3-1) played Wednesday…


February 22, 2019

Another weekend series at Clark-LeClair Stadium, this time against winless Monmouth, begins an eight-game homestand for the No. 11-ranked East Carolina baseball team, and it comes just a few days after the Pirates suffered a rare midweek setback at Campbell.

It was cold and misty and damp at…


February 21, 2019

Erin Poepping brought some fire with her from Minnesota to North Carolina, and it’s been catching with the red-hot East Carolina softball team early in the season.

While the late-winter temperatures here are a far cry from her suburban Minneapolis home, the 8-1 Pirates and their sophomore…


February 20, 2019

LILLINGTON — Many of the Major League Baseball scouts who arrived to Jim Perry Stadium early and packed the seats behind home plate to key on starting pitching were not around to see a wild ninth inning Wednesday night.

They missed No. 11 East Carolina hit two clutch home runs in the…


February 20, 2019

The bottom fell out for the East Carolina women’s basketball team on Wednesday night in a 63-50 loss to South Florida.

The game was not the blowout at seemed, except for a dreadful stretch in the game’s critical minutes in the fourth quarter. After the Pirates (13-13, 4-8 American…


February 20, 2019

East Carolina’s home-heavy end to the women’s basketball regular season comes into shape tonight when the Pirates, who are 3-2 in their last five games, host South Florida in Minges Coliseum.

ECU (13-12, 4-8 American) split two road games in Texas last week, most recently falling 63-52…


February 18, 2019

East Carolina bas­ket­ball’s Jay­den Gard­ner col­lected his fifth Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence fresh­man of the week honor Mon­day af­ter post­ing his ninth dou­ble-dou­ble of the sea­son Sun­day against Tulsa with…


February 18, 2019

East Carolina baseball used eight different relief pitchers during its opening-weekend sweep of Radford, ranging from three freshmen making their debuts to seniors Sam Lanier and Evan Voliva closing out the Highlanders, 4-3, on Sunday at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

Fifth-year coach Cliff Godwin said he…


February 17, 2019

Facing cold temperatures and an early deficit at Clark-LeClair Stadium, there were times Sunday when things could have gotten away from East Carolina’s baseball team.

The Pirates battled, however, and rallied during the middle and late innings to beat Radford 4-3 and complete an opening…

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