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BYH to these elected officials who are paid by our tax dollars naming buildings after them, i.e. Butterfield, Owen's to...

A lot on the line at UConn

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East Carolina's Bryant Packard slides safely into second base for a double against Campbell at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Tuesday.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

There is no shortage of implications for No. 9 East Carolina in its baseball series at Connecticut that begins Thursday and concludes Saturday on the final day of the regular season for all American Athletic Conference clubs.

Houston is done with AAC play and has posted a 16-8 league record. A best-case scenario for ECU (38-13, 13-8) is a sweep in Storrs, Conn., to tie Houston for the league championship. Winning two of three against UConn (30-17-1, 12-9) also will greatly strengthen East Carolina’s resume as an NCAA regional host. For now, projections call for the Pirates to be one of the 16 hosts.

The contrary is the Pirates not winning against the Huskies could drop them outside of the top-four seeds for the AAC tournament and weaken their NCAA resume.

“We can’t win the conference championship on Thursday and we can’t win it on Friday,” ECU coach Cliff Godwin said. “If we’re lucky enough to win on Thursday and Friday then we can go for that conference championship, but we just need to focus on being where our feet are.”

D1baseball.com has the Pirates hosting a regional at Clark-LeClair Stadium as the No. 12 overall seed. Baseball America also has the Pirates hosting as the No. 14 seed.

ECU’s RPI ranking is No. 13 and UConn’s is 23rd.

Pirate sophomore leadoff hitter Bryant Packard can make history in the series opener with a hit, which would give him one in 30 straight games. He tied the school record of 29 on Tuesday at home when he went 3-for-5 and scored three runs in a 12-7 win against Campbell.

“It would mean a lot because I didn’t even know they keep track of hit streaks like that until I guess about a week ago when I was inching near it,” Packard said. “It is an honor.”

The perfect complement lately to Packard has been Dwanya Williams-Sutton, who has upped his season batting average to .383 and has eight home runs in the last eight games.

Packard is the only .400 hitter in the AAC with a .409 average. He also has 12 home runs and 45 RBIs.

“I’m very happy for him because it couldn’t happen to a better person and he’s gone through a lot of adversity with his back,” Godwin said. “What he’s done for us in solidifying the top of our lineup has made our offense go this year.”

ECU ranks first in the conference with 54 home runs and also is second in runs scored (325) and third in batting average (.286).

WEEKEND WATCH

Tyler Smith, East Carolina: The sophomore weekend starter was not available Sunday because of arm fatigue, and that led to extra innings for a few other Pirates, but ECU is hoping Smith could be available in some form against the Huskies. UConn ranks fourth in the American in batting average with a .281 mark.

P.J. Poulin, Connecticut: ECU was able to rally against Cincinnati’s lowly bullpen last weekend to take that series, but UConn boasts the league’s saves leader in Poulin with 13. The left-hander has made 25 relief appearances as a junior with a 3.38 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings.

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

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

November 21, 2018

It is a question to which only people deeply rooted in the East Carolina football program can provide the best answers: Who is Tyler Snead?

“Obviously he is not the biggest kid, but he is going to work hard,” ECU starting quarterback Holton Ahlers said.

Snead is a Pirate freshman…

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November 21, 2018

East Carolina’s basketball team is seeking another win tonight, but with limited turnovers.

ECU (3-2) began a busy week Monday night with a 69-64 victory over Texas-Rio Grande Valley despite ECU giving away 26 turnovers. It came a few days after the Pirates had 21 turnovers in a loss at…

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November 19, 2018

Regional opponents for East Carolina basketball gave way to a visit Monday night from a school located at the southern tip of Texas just above the U.S.-Mexico border.

ECU withstood the unfamiliar test, taking control of the game against Texas-Rio Grande Valley during the first 12 minutes in Minges…

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November 19, 2018

The Cincinnati Bearcats do not have much time to sulk after losing their marquee game of the college football season, and head coach Luke Fickell was mindful of that on Monday morning, just four days in advance of his team’s home kickoff against East Carolina on Black Friday.

The Bearcats (9-…

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November 19, 2018

East Carolina football was back to practice Monday morning, one day earlier than usual because the Pirates play on Friday this week instead of Saturday.

ECU (3-7, 1-6 American Athletic Conference) also is back to playing the role of underdog. Cincinnati (9-2, 5-2) is listed as an 18-point favorite…

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November 19, 2018

A couple entertaining runs by star-in-the-making freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers quickly guided East Carolina to 100 and then 150 rushing yards Saturday night versus Connecticut in ECU’s final home football game of the season.

Then 150 became 200 and 200 to 300 and 300 to 400.

By the end…

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November 18, 2018

There was little that was easy or routine about the East Carolina women’s basketball team’s win over energetic Kennesaw State on Sunday night in Minges Coliseum for a 4-0 start to the season, even though the final score appeared lopsided as a 68-56 victory for the Pirates.

The second…

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November 18, 2018

A rather uneventful weekend of college football played out in North Carolina, but stay tuned because key Atlantic Coast Conference matchups await with North Carolina hosting N.C. State and Wake Forest traveling to Duke.

The Blue Devils will enter as the best team in the state. Here are The…

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November 18, 2018

These three questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section previewing the Connecticut at East Carolina football game for ECU’s senior day. The favored Pirates cruised to a 55-21 win.

Here and the answers and more insight:

1. Which East Carolina running back gets the…

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November 18, 2018

East Carolina’s women’s basketball team is off to a 3-0 start under interim head coach Chad Killinger, but Killinger is not ready to take all of the credit.

It has been a group effort, Killinger said, with three players already averaging in double-figure scoring and assistant coaches…

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