Loading...
BYH to those wanting outdoor dining uptown. I'm with you as long as we pass a law keeping mosquitoes and other insects...

A lot on the line at UConn

051618ECUbaseball-5.jpg

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

Loading…

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.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

May 26, 2018

It is not easy to leave a winning program for one mired in a string of four straight losing seasons and that hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1993.

Joe Dooley did that in April when he left Florida Gulf Coast, a team he led to the NCAAs in 2016 and ’17, to take over at East…

051618ECUdooley-2.jpg

May 25, 2018

East Carolina shook off a nine-game losing streak to Houston in a major way on Friday morning, pounding the top-seeded Cougars out of the American Athletic Conference tournament in a 12-1, seven-inning blistering.

With the win, the Pirates (42-16) likely solidified one of the NCAA’s 16 host…

021718ECUbaseball-2.jpg

May 24, 2018

A familiar nemesis dealt East Carolina its first loss at the American Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday, as top-seeded Houston broke a tie with two runs in the seventh inning of a 5-3 win over the Pirates in Clearwater, Fla.

On another jam-packed day due to impending bad weather, the…

051218ECUbaseball-7.jpg

May 24, 2018

The East Carolina club baseball team spent its rebuilding year after last season’s World Series win building another potential national champion.

Instead of taking this season to regroup and steadily build another contender, the Pirates and second-year coach Ben Fox are already pushing for a…

May 23, 2018

A gutsy and wild comeback Wednesday afternoon for East Carolina at the American Athletic Conference baseball tournament in Clearwater, Fla., might have assured that the Pirates will be smiling Sunday night when the 16 NCAA regional hosts are announced.

ECU advanced to the AAC semifinals in dramatic…

051218ECUbaseball-8.jpg

May 23, 2018

East Carolina women’s basketball coach Heather Macy will be a featured speaker at the True North Sports Camp Elevate on the campus of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs next week.

Macy is one of 14 people selected to speak at the three-day event May 29-31, and she will host a 90-…

123117ECUbasketball-4.jpg

May 22, 2018

The American Athletic Conference baseball tournament began Tuesday morning in Clearwater, Fla., with a high-scoring and slow-moving game that lasted nearly four hours and ended as an 8-4 win for No. 4 seed East Carolina over No. 5 UCF, giving the Pirates 40 wins for the season.

It also gave…

040418ECUBaseball-7.jpg

May 22, 2018

First-year East Carolina basketball coach Joe Dooley is still evaluating the roster and coaching staff for his first team, but the hiring of new staff is on hold for now.

Dooley hired Raphael Chillious, who was at Connecticut last year, as a lead assistant and retained assistant Ken Potosnak from…

030218ECUbball-2.jpg

May 21, 2018

Bryant Packard was already set to take an East Carolina-record 32-game hit streak into the American Athletic Conference baseball tournament in Clearwater, Fla., and he added more momentum Monday when he was named AAC player of the year.

He is the first Pirate to ever win the American award. He led…

051618ECUbaseball-1.jpg

May 21, 2018

Veteran Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has helped shape the career of East Carolina’s Joe Dooley in a major way, and the pair is set to be reunited with an opportunity through USA Basketball.

Dooley, a Kansas assistant from 2003-13 who was named the Pirates’ head coach on April 4 for…

040618ECUDooley-2.jpg
228 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 23
        Next Page»   Last Page»