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BATTLE FOR N.C.: Intriguing matchups upcoming

Duke Clemson Football-10
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Duke's Leonard Johnson defends on a pass to Clemson's Trevon Thompson, rear, during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Clemson, S.C. Johnson was called for a penalty. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A rather uneventful weekend of college football played out in North Carolina, but stay tuned because key Atlantic Coast Conference matchups await with North Carolina hosting N.C. State and Wake Forest traveling to Duke.

The Blue Devils will enter as the best team in the state. Here are The Daily Reflector’s updated in-state power rankings:

1. Duke

Record: 7-4.

Why No. 1? If anything, Duke’s 35-6 loss at Clemson only helped to validate that the Blue Devils should be No. 1. N.C. State lost 41-7 to Clemson on Oct. 20.

2. N.C. State

Record: 7-3.

Why No. 2? The Wolfpack got back on track from an upset loss to Wake Forest, taking it out on a bad Louisville team and rolling to a 52-10 win in Louisville, Ky. NCSU closes the regular season with rivalry games against UNC and East Carolina.

3. Appalachian State 

Record: 8-2.

Why No. 3? App. State now has the most wins in the state, but it stays at No. 3 in these rankings because of strength of schedule. That can get a boost Saturday with a victory against Troy to decide the Sun Belt East champion.

4. Wake Forest

Record: 5-6.

Why No. 4? An unpredictable, up-and-down season by Wake continued when it was overwhelmed in a 34-13 defeat to Pittsburgh. The Demon Deacons will need to beat Duke to reach the six-win mark for bowl consideration.

5. East Carolina

Record: 3-7.

Why No. 5? A loss to hapless Connecticut would have been a disaster for the Pirates, but they made sure that didn’t happen with a balanced and dominant effort on senior night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. ECU won 55-21.

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ECU

February 17, 2019

East Carolina softball’s four-game undefeated run through the Pirate Clash ended Sunday with the Pirates off to their best start to a season since beginning 8-0 in 2006.

After two walk-off wins Friday, Erin Poepping’s 10-strikeout performance from the circle Saturday night guided a…

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February 17, 2019

The East Carolina basketball team in the puzzle-piece printed uniforms on Sunday afternoon showed again it is still missing some pieces.

The Pirates hit just one field goal in the opening eight minutes against Tulsa and trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half before storming back and…

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February 17, 2019

Facing cold temperatures and an early deficit at Clark-LeClair Stadium, there were times Sunday when things could have gotten away from East Carolina’s baseball team.

The Pirates battled, however, and rallied during the middle and late innings to beat Radford 4-3 and complete an opening…

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February 17, 2019

East Carolina basketball coaches have been hot on the recruiting trail, including for Boston 7-footer Charles Coleman who also is a target by Wake Forest, Duke and DePaul, as the Pirates have faced difficulties on the court for another season.

A 79-69 loss to Memphis on Wednesday night, a game in…

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February 16, 2019

East Carolina was busy on indoor and outdoor tennis courts this weekend, highlighted by the ECU women winning both of their matches in Greenville for a four-match win streak.

The Pirates (4-2) took a 5-2 victory over James Madison at the River Birch Tennis Center, then swept Campbell at the ECU…

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February 16, 2019

After serving as East Carolina baseball’s first starting pitcher of the season and hitting for himself as the designated hitter, Alec Burleson was thinking he would remain at DH or maybe play first base for Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader versus Radford.

Instead, some conversations led…

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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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