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Pirates set for five-game week

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East Carolina's Connor Litton leads off from first base during the season-opener Feb. 16 at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

With American Athletic Conference play for the East Carolina baseball team not beginning until March 23, ECU coach Clifff Godwin is taking a game-to-game approach as the Pirates maneuver their nonconference slate.

For the Pirates this week, that means their first five-game week of the season, beginning with a home pair against a College of Charleston squad that is 10-2 and fresh off a weekend sweep of Georgia. ECU (8-3), which fell only one spot Monday in the D1baseball.com Top 25 to No. 19, hosts the Cougars today and Wednesday before a weekend series at Charlotte.

The Charlotte matchup will also be ECU’s first true road weekend series of the year, but Godwin said after Sunday’s 9-0 victory over Saint Joseph’s that all contests are viewed similarly at this early point in the year.

“We’re treating every game like a separate entity, because we’re not in conference (yet),” the fourth-year coach said. “We have to focus on Tuesday just like it was a Friday night game. We’re going to do everything we can to win on Tuesday and then after Tuesday we’ll do everything we can do to win on Wednesday.”

ECU’s lone midweek starting pitcher last week was freshman left-hander Jake Kuchmaner against Old Dominion. If the Pirates use him in the same role again and Jake Agnos, who has been moved from the weekend rotation after another short outing Saturday in a loss against Missouri State, to face College of Charleston, then ECU will start two lefties against the Cougars.

Agnos, who has an 8.22 ERA in 7 2/3 innings spanning three starts, threw 56 pitches in 2 1/3 frames against Missouri State as part of the Pirates going 1-2 in hosting the Keith LeClair Classic.

“He didn’t throw too much (Saturday) night, so if he feels good then he will start Wednesday,” Godwin said of the sophomore Agnos.

Charleston, which lost 13-0 against Coastal Carolina on Feb. 21 and has been hot since then, is on a seven-game win streak. It has hit 11 total home runs in its 12 games, led by four from junior catcher Danny Wondrack.

Surging for a potent ECU offense at the moment are Jake Washer and Connor Litton, who are the team’s top two hitters in batting average at .480 and .439, respectively. Powerful first baseman Spencer Brickhouse remains as the team leader in home runs with three, and Litton and Bryant Packard each have two.

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

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