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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

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

ECU

August 18, 2018

The touchdowns might have looked easy at times for D.H. Conley’s C.J. Johnson and Elizabeth City Northeastern’s Traveon Freshwater on Friday night because of their superior size, strength and talent, but they were feeling pain just like the other players on the field.

Freshwater and…

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August 18, 2018

Trailing early and down a player, East Carolina’s women’s soccer team was able to fight back and earn a 1-1 tie at Old Dominion on Friday night to start the season and initial match under first-year coach Jason Hamilton.

Already down 1-0, Kim Sanford was shown a red card in the 15th…

August 18, 2018

East Carolina football will hold its second and final preseason scrimmage today at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Last week’s scrimmage was defined by a stingy effort up front by the defense and the Pirate offense airing it out often and hitting some deep passes.

Here are five players to watch for…

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August 17, 2018

Marcus Holton can look around during East Carolina football practices and quickly feel surrounded by youth.

In front of him is the sophomore linebacking duo of Bruce Bivens and Aaron Ramseur ready to pounce. Beside Holton, a senior and the Pirates’ projected starting strong safety, will…

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August 15, 2018

As much pressure as there is on the East Carolina running backs to make big plays when they are in space, there is possibly even more pressure on the Pirates’ offensive line to create adequate space for the backs to roam.

Linemen and running backs working cohesively is paramount for a…

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August 15, 2018

Check out some video clips from the start of East Carolina football practice Wednesday morning, featuring heavy special teams work and some other position-specific drills.

Some fumble drill action this morning at #ECU practice. Defense also was doing similar drills ... pic.twitter.…

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August 14, 2018

A theme from Saturday’s East Carolina football scrimmage continued Tuesday when the Pirates began their final week of preseason camp and coach Scottie Montgomery said the defense was overall more productive than the offense.

Part of it was because of the defense winning a lot of battles in…

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August 14, 2018

Dave Hart’s role as special athletics adviser to East Carolina Chancellor Cecil Staton has been extended through football season, in part because of the difficulties the Pirates are facing financially as they prepare for another scholastic and athletics year.

Hart’s original six-month…

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August 14, 2018

Jack Reinheimer is with the New York Mets, giving East Carolina two former players currently on active Major League Baseball rosters. Pitcher Mike Wright (Baltimore Orioles) is the other player.

Former ECU pitcher Jharel Cotton is on the Oakland Athletics’ 40-man roster, but not active as he…

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August 14, 2018

Of all the statistics that doomed East Carolina’s football team in 2017, and on defense in particular, a glaring disparity was that ECU scored 31 points off turnovers and opponents finished with 121.

Third-year head coach Scottie Montgomery has stressed for ECU defenders to be more aggressive…

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