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Powerful Pirates even series

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East Carolina's Spencer Brickhouse talks to head coach Cliff Godwin during the ECU-Cincinnati game Friday. May 11, 2018.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Baseballs flew out of Clark-LeClair Stadium with ease at times Saturday afternoon, continuing a weekend theme between Cincinnati and East Carolina, and it was the Pirates who powered their way to a 13-6 win in Game 2 of their American Athletic Conference series.

Bryant Packard led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run and Turner Brown capped his breakout 4-for-4 game in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run shot to deep right field. In between those dingers, Spencer Brickhouse hit two homers and Connor Litton had one to give the Pirates a total of five in the win to stop a six-game AAC losing streak at home.

Cincinnati (26-23, 11-9) stole a 4-3 victory Friday night behind two solo homers in the top of the ninth.

No. 10 ECU (36-13, 12-8) did it in a more methodical fashion Saturday with four homers during the first five innings for a 6-1 lead and its offense remained fruitful the rest of the way. The hosts finished with 14 hits and they didn’t commit an error.

“We’ve talked about how throughout the year we’ve responded when we’ve been kind of knocked down,” Pirate coach Cliff Godwin said. “Really the only time that we haven’t responded was the Houston weekend (in a sweep). ... I would have been surprised if we hadn’t have responded well today because this group is a pretty tough group.”

The long ball helped the Pirates, but it ended up being a string of singles and a Seth Caddell double in the sixth inning that allowed them to gain adequate breathing room.

It was 6-2 ECU in the top of the sixth when Cole Murphy hit a three-run home run off Zach Barnes to cut it to 6-5.

East Carolina then rallied against new reliever Jalen Wade in the bottom-half, getting five straight hits from Brady Lloyd, Caddell, Brown, Packard and Dwanya Williams-Sutton. Brown and Packard hit RBI singles for an 8-5 lead.

Brickhouse’s sacrifice fly made it 9-5 and Connor Litton’s RBI groundout  gave ECU a 10-5 lead.

Packard’s hit streak was extended to 27 games with his home run and he finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored. The six RBIs by Brickhouse (3-for-4) were a career-high.

“Momentum is a big thing in baseball,”  said Brickhouse, who like Packard is a sophomore. Brickhouse upped his season home run total to nine while Packard is at 12. “That can all start with a defensive play. You have a defensive play and can have momentum coming back in and you feel like you can hit anything they throw up there.”

Brown scored three runs and had three RBIs from the No. 9 spot in the batting order.

“Coach Godwin always tells us that if we just keep barreling balls up, then it’s going to find holes,” he said. “Like today, I got some barrels and found some holes and that felt really good.”

ECU freshman starter Alec Burleson (4-1) pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up four runs on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk. Reliever Davis Kirkpatrick faced three batters and got one out on a strikeout for the second straight day, lowering his season ERA to 0.96.

Jake Agnos will start the series finale for the Pirates with Tyler Smith on the mend and inactive this weekend.

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

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ECU

October 20, 2018 - 45 minutes ago

As the final seconds ticked off the clock at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday night, two numbers still resonated with the matchup between 10th-ranked Central Florida and upset-minded East Carolina.

One. Twenty.

Freshman quarterback and Greenville native Holton Ahlers was making his first start and…

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October 20, 2018 - 33 minutes ago

A wet ball proved to be the first major stumbling block in the first-career start by East Carolina freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers in a 37-10 loss to Central Florida on Saturday night.

After marching his trailing Pirates to the UCF goal line early in the fourth quarter, Ahlers tried a jump pass…

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October 20, 2018

These three questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section previewing East Carolina’s home football game against 10th-ranked Central Florida. 

Check back after the primetime matchup for answers to the questions and more insight from the game.

1. Who wins the…

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October 20, 2018

Before Holton Ahlers signed on Dec. 20, 2017, to play football at East Carolina, he was a star quarterback at D.H. Conley High School. Before that, a baseball slugger unlike anyone else who had ever played on Greenville recreational fields.

“That thing broke my darn windshield!" a woman…

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October 20, 2018

New starting quarterback Holton Ahlers and East Carolina welcome undefeated Central Florida to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium tonight for a primetime matchup on ESPN2 that many people around the country will at least check in on to see if UCF could get upended.

There is no denying that a win by the Pirates,…

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October 20, 2018

Q: Why did you want to major in criminal justice?

A: I’ve always liked (TV) shows like “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: Miami” and “Law & Order.” I just decided I wanted to be something in that field, like a DEA (Drug Enforcement…

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October 19, 2018

While the American Athletic Conference East division remains a three-team race, Houston is in the driver’s seat as the only remaining unbeaten team in the West.

Houston, which just defeated East Carolina 42-20 and has won its first two league games by an average 18.5 points, moved to No. 2 in…

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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…

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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…

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