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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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ECU

October 21, 2018

There are no shortage of connections between Pitt Community College and East Carolina baseball, and on Sunday the two college programs converged at ECU’s Clark-LeClair Stadium for a rare treat for local college baseball fans.

They played a fall exhibition game and East Carolina won 9-0, but…

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October 21, 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, which ended with UCF pulling away for a 37-10 victory on homecoming night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Here are the answers, and…

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October 20, 2018

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

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…

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