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Pirates power into AAC championship

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East Carolina's Connor Litton slides into third during a game against Western Carolina on Feb. 16, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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The Daily Reflector

Friday, 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 berths for next week’s regionals. The announcement will be made official on Sunday night. The Pirates’ RPI remained at No. 13.

ECU will take on Connecticut, a 3-2 winner over South Florida in the other semifinal, for the tournament title at 10 this morning.

Connor Litton turned in a memorable performance with three doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored. Spencer Brickhouse was 3-for-3 with two RBIs, and Dwanya Williams-Sutton and Bryson Worrell each had two hits and an RBI in the win. Starting pitcher Jake Kuchmaner tossed an abbreviated complete game to give the rest of the Pirates’ arms an extra day’s rest.

The Cougars’ pitchers came unglued in the third inning, and the Pirates pounced and took control of the game with five runs.

Already leading 2-1, Litton smashed a bases-loaded double to left-center field that brought home Brickhouse and Drew Henrickson for a 4-1 edge. Both runners reached on Tyler Bielamowicz walks, and Jake Washer was plunked by a pitch to load the bags.

Next, Alec Burleson was hit by a pitch to reload the bases and end Bielamowicz’s morning. Reliever Hunter Edwards promptly threw a wild pitch to bring Washer home, and Brady Lloyd then walked to fill the bags a third time. Turner Brown was hit by a pitch to make it 6-1, and Worrell’s RBI single capped the big frame for a 7-1 lead.

Litton was back at it in the fourth, cranking his second double in as many innings to score Brickhouse, and Burleson’s grounder brought home ECU’s ninth tally. In the fifth, Brickhouse and Williams-Sutton traded RBI singles to give ECU a 10-run cushion, 11-1.

In the sixth, Litton left little doubt, roping his third double and scoring his team’s 12th and final run on Lloyd’s RBI single.

Kuchmaner (4-0) stayed strong for all seven innings following the game’s opening at-bat, allowing one run on four hits while striking out five and walking one.

ECU survived an early sting and grabbed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Kuchmaner gave up a leadoff home run to fellow starter Bielamowicz to start the game, but the Pirates got back at him immediately by way of Williams-Sutton’s one-out double following a leadoff walk to Henrickson. He came home on an infield single by Brickhouse, and Williams-Sutton sped home on a wild pitch to give ECU an early edge.

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

June 19, 2018

The time just after former East Carolina pole vaulter Brie Berkowitz completed her master’s degree at ECU was defined by a series of internships.

She did broadcasting for football camps, coordinated travel for various teams with the Miami Hurricanes and worked in sales and marketing for the…

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June 18, 2018

The consistency shown by East Carolina football coaches was key during the recruitment of Farmville Central rising senior defensive lineman Keziah Everett and that led to Everett verbally committing to the Pirates on Monday.

He chose ECU over North Carolina and Virginia. The Pirates were the first…

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June 17, 2018

The United States team completed a dominant run at the FIBA Americas U18 basketball tournament in Ontario, Canada, on Saturday night with a 113-74 victory against the host Canadian squad to take the gold medal.

East Carolina first-year coach Joe Dooley helped pick the team, which was led…

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June 16, 2018

East Carolina sophomore outfielder Bryant Packard earned his school-record seventh All-America honor after being named a first-teamer by the American Baseball Coaches Association on Saturday.

Packard led ECU in seven offensive categories, including batting average (.406) to rank seventh nationally.…

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June 15, 2018

East Carolina first-year coach Joe Dooley played in part in assembling the roster for the USA Basketball U18 National Team that could be on a collision course to face host team Canada this weekend in the championship game of the FIBA Americas tournament.

Dooley was a court coach during…

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June 14, 2018

To many in the world of women’s basketball, Anne Donovan was a giant. And not just because she stood 6-foot-8.

She won a national championship at Old Dominion, two Olympic gold medals as a player and another as a coach in her storied career. She died Wednesday and people in Greenville…

Obit Donovan

June 13, 2018

Anne Donovan, the Basketball Hall of Famer and former East Carolina women’s head coach who won a national championship at Old Dominion, two Olympic gold medals in the 1980s and coached the U.S. to gold in 2008, died Wednesday of heart failure. She was 56.

On her rise to prominence, Donovan…

June 12, 2018

Reality set in for East Carolina shot put standout Galissia Cause during her hotel check-in last week in Eugene, Ore., for the track and field NCAA Outdoor Championships.

She competed at the NCAA East Regional meet in all four of her seasons, but only this year did the senior make it past…

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June 10, 2018

There is a group text message involving some recent East Carolina baseball players.

They are great friends, and it is during these messages about jobs or social plans when Evan Kruczynski is reminded how lucky he is to be a professional baseball player.

There is a grind associated with the day-to-…

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June 08, 2018

Galissia Cause already was the East Carolina record holder in the outdoor shot put and she ended her collegiate career Thursday night in All-America fashion, placing 10th in the shot put event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships held in Eugene, Ore. Taking 10th place garnered her second-team All-…

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