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ECU wins title to complete resume

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East Carolina's Spencer Brickhouse (42) was named the American Athletic Conference tournament Most Valuable Player.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, May 26, 2018

East Carolina earned the American Athletic Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA baseball tournament Saturday by winning the AAC tournament in Clearwater, Fla., as the No. 4 seed, and the Pirates are likely to be hosting NCAA regional games next weekend at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

That should become official Sunday night when the NCAA announces the 16 regional hosts and the Pirates are projected to be one of them.

ECU (43-16) beat Connecticut 4-3 while playing for the fifth straight day. The Pirates were in the league tournament championship game for the third time in four years and they captured their second title, joining the 2015 championship.

“It’s hard to put into words, but this team has worked hard all year and they deserve it,” senior Davis Kirkpatrick said on the Pirate IMG Network. “UConn is a great club, but this is just an incredible moment for ECU and I love this team to death.”

Jake Agnos pitched four scoreless innings and that was followed by Ryan Ross (3-4) yielding two runs in one inning, Trey Benton retiring six of his seven batters and then Kirkpatrick tossed two scoreless innings for his third save of the year.

ECU is 12th in the RPI rankings heading into the regional hosts announcement. It moved up one spot after the victory over the Huskies (35-20-1).

“I have ECU as a host. The RPI, 19 road wins and a series win over North Carolina are loud,” said college baseball analyst Mike Rooney, who will be part of ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA tournament. “This is a club with a little bit of everything, including postseason experience, and I think they’re a threat to go to Omaha (for the College World Series).”

Neither Duke or N.C. State made it past pool play at the ACC tournament in Durham. Texas, another bubble team this week in terms of hosting, went 0-2 at the Big 12 tournament.

“Pirate Nation, we’ll see you in Greenville next week!” ECU coach Cliff Godwin said to end his postgame interview on the American Digital Network.

Agnos fanned Conor Moriarty to end the top of the fourth, marking his ninth strikeout and ending his outing with no runs allowed on six hits with no walks. The left-hander faced a bases-loaded, no-out situation the previous inning and he used three straight strikeouts to get out of it unscathed. The score was 0-0 at the time.

“I thought that was the key to the game,” Godwin said.

The Pirates took the lead for good thanks to three straight RBI singles in the bottom of the fifth. They were produced by Spencer Brickhouse, Jake Washer and Andrew Henrickson.

East Carolina players named to the all-tournament team were Jake Kuchmaner, Brickhouse, Turner Brown, and Henrickson. Brickhouse earned MVP honors.

Bryant Packard, Brickhouse and Henrickson each went 2-for-4 against the Huskies. Brown’s sacrifice fly in the sixth scored Brady Lloyd for a 4-2 lead.

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

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…

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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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June 07, 2018

East Carolina baseball coach Cliff Godwin had been linked to the Mississippi State head coaching position this week, but Godwin confirmed Thursday that he is staying with the Pirates.

This is the second Southeastern Conference school that has shown interest in Godwin, who is an ECU alum and former…

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June 06, 2018

Just like last June, East Carolina baseball’s pitching ace is headed to the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

ECU Friday night starter Chris Holba was selected early in the final day of the Major League Baseball draft Wednesday, going in the 11th round to the Cardinals. St. Louis also…

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