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BYH Zoning Commission. Take your chairs and sit in the field by Bostic Sugg in morning or afternoon and tell the...

Pirates bond through PGA moment

Greenbrier Golf
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Harold Varner III looks at a putt on the first hole during the third round of the Military Tribute at The Greenbrier golf tournament in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., Saturday, July 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

East Carolina men’s golf coach Andrew Sapp is the president of the Golf Coaches Association of America, and serving in that role put him in Avion, France, last week.

He was there for the Arnold Palmer Classic, which is a Ryder Cup-style event for college golfers, while current Pirate Blake Taylor and former ECU star Harold Varner III were both in a PGA field for The Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.

Taylor held his own, shooting 1 over in two rounds as a first-time amateur in a professional event, and Varner was in contention all weekend before finishing in a tie for fifth place. It was the second top-10 this year for Varner, who played for the Pirates from 2008-12 under previous ECU coach Press McPhaul.

“Having both of them play was an exciting thing, and I was gutted that I was in France and couldn’t go up and watch,” Sapp said. “That would have been an awesome experience to watch Blake, but also to watch Harold play.”

McPhaul left the Pirates for N.C. State last June and was replaced by Sapp in July.

Varner, a Gastonia native, made national headlines Monday when he tweeted a photo of him mowing his parents’ lawn the morning after earning $247,470 for his top-five finish. He was a co-leader after the third round and during a news conference Saturday said that regardless of Sunday’s outcome, he was intent on his plans Monday to cut grass.

“He’s playing some great golf this summer and hopefully he can continue it,” Sapp said of Varner. “When tour players embrace their roots, whether it’s their hometown or their university where they played golf and went to school, it does nothing but help a program out.

“He is very visible on social media and is a very charismatic person. ... He is funny and fun to be around and a great guy, so he really is an incredible representative of the Pirates and our Pirate golf program.”

Taylor is aiming for a similar path after a valuable PGA experience in West Virginia.

ECU’s top golfer last year in terms of scoring average was Patrick Stephenson. Taylor ranked second, and both he and Stephenson are juniors this fall.

“We have a great culture here and our goal really now is to develop a winning culture,” said Sapp, who previously as coach at North Carolina led the Tar Heels to the NCAA Championship finals and at Michigan guided the Wolverines to third place in the 2009 NCAA event. “I’m looking forward to Year 2 and that’s because we know the ropes of the university and Greenville and the golf courses we play, but also we’ve gotten to know our players.

“We have a very young team and we won’t have any seniors, so it’s exciting to look at the next two years because the roster will be the same and we should see how much we can continue to improve.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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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

February 15, 2019

A total of 21 runs by East Carolina powered the Pirates to a college baseball opening day sweep of Radford at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday.

Spencer Brickhouse’s go-ahead, two-run home run keyed a 6-2 win, then ECU used a 16-hit barrage for a 15-9 victory in Game 2 of the doubleheader…

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February 15, 2019

CATCHER

Jake Washer, junior: Washer is back as East Carolina’s starting catcher after receiving Major League Baseball draft interest following his breakout sophomore season. In addition to showing power with six home runs and 40 RBIs a year ago, Washer posted a smooth .287 batting average.…

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February 15, 2019

Equipped with All-American Bryant Packard ready to serve again as East Carolina’s leadoff man in the batting order and a stable of proven pitchers who battled during the preseason for lead rotation spots, ECU is ready to face an opponent and begin a new season.

Radford’s visit to Clark-…

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February 15, 2019

WEEKEND ROTATION

FRIDAY

Alec Burleson, sophomore: Burleson will be a frequent player at designated hitter and first base in the lineup, but his main focus in the season opener versus Radford will be on the pitcher’s mound. The left-hander, who was the American Athletic Conference rookie…

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February 15, 2019

One of baseball’s many adages is that good teams need to be strong “up the middle,” a reference that focuses on important defensive positions from catcher to middle infielders at shortstop and second base and then into the outfield with a center fielder.

This East Carolina team is…

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February 14, 2019

East Carolina’s 64-54 women’s basketball win at SMU on Thursday night gave the Pirates consecutive victories for the first time since December.

The Pirates (13-11, 4-7 American) had four double-figure scores, led by Raven Johnson’s 18 points and five rebounds. She was 2-of-4 from…

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February 14, 2019

East Carolina’s baseball season will begin Friday at Clark-LeClair Stadium with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. and from there the series schedule versus Radford will be fluid.

Changes were made Thursday morning to the weekend schedule because of expected rain on Saturday and Sunday.

Revised Weekend…

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February 13, 2019

Joe Dooley has warned about these funks, especially on the offensive end, that East Carolina’s basketball team has been prone to lately.

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February 13, 2019

Dorthea Forbrigd shot a career-low 54-hole score of 209 (7-under-par) to claim a share of first place at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic this week.

It marked the third time in the career for Forbrigd, a junior, that she finished tied for first in a collegiate event. The Oslo, Norway, native led…

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February 12, 2019

East Carolina baseball has four left-handed pitchers and two of them, Alec Burleson and Jake Agnos, are set to be the Pirates’ first two starting pitchers of the season.

They will go about their starts in different ways, naturally, versus Radford at Clark-LeClair Stadium. 

Burleson, a…

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