Loading...
As a resident of the TRUNA neighborhood I am grateful for all the wonderful work of Councilman Bell for the last two...

ECU arms are ready

021319ECUbaseball-2.JPG
1 of 4

East Carolina's Jake Agnos, left, talks with coach Cliff Godwin during practice on Feb. 12, 2019. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

021319ECUbaseball-6.JPG
021319ECUbaseball-1.JPG
040418ECUBaseball-2.jpg
Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, 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 sophomore two-way player, gets the first Friday nod, and he also will be used in the batting order versus the Highlanders and during other games this season for No. 11-ranked ECU. Agnos, a junior, has 24 career starts — the most among any current Pirate pitcher — and he is exclusively a hurler who relies on power and his unique energy and strikeout ability.

“I think Burleson and I are completely different pitchers,” said Agnos, who has 150 career strikeouts and 70 walks in 128 innings. “He’s got sink to his ball, and I have heaviness. We both come from the left side, but also our bullpen and staff is so deep that no two pitchers are really alike.”

Junior righty Tyler Smith, who was 7-1 with a 1.78 ERA a year ago, will be the Sunday starter. 

Fifth-year Pirate coach Cliff Godwin also said Tuesday that lead closer options in the bullpen are veterans Trey Benton, Evan Voliva and Sam Lanier joined by freshmen Carter Spivey and Ryder Giles.

“For Sam Lanier, his last two outings are as best as he’s ever pitched here, even his freshman year when he was in a regional championship game,” Godwin said of the senior.

Like Agnos, Benton has alternated throughout his career between a starter and reliever.

Godwin said pitching roles still will be fluid.

“That is the rotation for this weekend and we’ll see after this weekend if that is the rotation for next weekend,” he said. “What has impressed me about our pitching staff is there are a lot of great quality arms. We really could have gone a lot of different ways, but Burly earned it for this weekend and then we’ll see.”

The decision for opening weekend leaves hard-throwing Gavin Williams and lefty Jake Kuchmaner as quality midweek starting options, beginning next week at Campbell.

Burleson’s role beyond starting Friday at 4 p.m. will be worth monitoring. He emerged more as a pitcher as a freshman, finishing offensively with a .252 batting average and three extra-base hits that were all doubles.

But he also was named most outstanding player in the summer Cal Ripken League, where he thrived with 10 home runs with 44 RBIs to go with a 0.34 ERA in pitching 26.1 innings.

“It will be whatever coach Godwin feels is the best lineup, whether that is me at first base or Brickhouse at first base or one of us (as designated hitter) or me not in the lineup,” Burleson said. “Whatever he feels best, but it’s definitely a bonus being able to pitch on Friday and then knowing that my week is not over. ... Last year, I didn’t handle it well because you just have to flip a switch from going from the (pitcher’s) mound.

“On the mound, I like to work really fast, but at the plate, I have to slow myself down. This year I think during our scrimmages and stuff I have handled it well and am more prepared.”

Burleson showed comfort on the weekend last year, posting a 5-2 record, four saves and 3.33 ERA in 54 innings. Now he is bracing to be ECU’s first pitcher of a new season.

“The only thing that will change is probably a little more butterflies pitching on Friday,” he said. “I just had a really good bullpen right now, so it’s just focusing on winning one pitch and being in the moment.”

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

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

August 19, 2019

East Carolina first-year football coach Mike Houston described the Pirates' No. 1 center, Branden Pena, as a "tough joker" on Saturday.

The football-centric praise showed how far the relationship has come between Pena and Houston since December.

"Branden Pena is a guy that I didn't know his name…

081819_gdr_ecumedia-6.jpg

August 17, 2019

Moments of reflection Saturday brought East Carolina first-year head football coach Mike Houston back to the spring.

The physicality he saw Saturday during the Pirates' final preseason scrimmage was vastly different from the spring Purple-Gold Game.

Darius Pinnix displayed his punishing rushing…

081819_gdr_ecumedia-10.jpg

August 17, 2019

East Carolina’s football players were asked about their favorite ice cream flavor Saturday and they got the opportunity to pick on teammates, but there also were serious questions pointed their way about the Aug. 31 opener at N.C. State and the rest of an important season for the Pirates…

081819_gdr_ecumedia-15.jpg

August 17, 2019

In an exhibition match defined by defense, Jenna Dages scored the only goal for the East Carolina women’s soccer team to top VCU 1-0 on Friday night inside Johnson Stadium.

Dages’ goal came at the 45:34 mark. From there, goalie Meaghan Haley and ECU's defense helped to maintain the lead.…

082018ECUsoccer-4.jpg

August 17, 2019

Here are five East Carolina football players who have stepped up during preseason camp and will be looking to continue their momentum when the Pirates complete camp with a scrimmage Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium:

1. Xavier Smith, linebacker: Smith has kind of quietly morphed from a tight end…

111818ECUfootball-24.jpg

August 16, 2019

East Carolina’s football practice Friday morning ended with center Branden Pena snapping to quarterback Holton Ahlers in the victory formation, and then the Pirates celebrated. Kicker Jake Verity also made a 57-yard field goal during a late-game sequence.

On the day before an important…

081119_gdr_ecufootball-13.jpg

August 16, 2019

Jayda Hylton-Pelaia has played countless soccer matches in Canada and the United States, impressing plenty of observers with her fluid dribbling and defensive skills.

Her effect on American Athletic Conference coaches was felt Tuesday when she was named AAC preseason defensive player of the year,…

Jayda 6.jpg

August 15, 2019

Bruce Bivens is as vocal as ever on the East Carolina football defense, which can both excite and worry first-year Pirate coach Mike Houston.

Bivens' voice is important and it carries now in the middle of ECU's defense as he approaches his junior season and his second year as a starting inside…

081119_gdr_ecufootball-9.jpg

August 15, 2019

UCLA transfer receiver Audie Omotosho was in shoulders pads Thursday as he continues to work toward being in full fear and available to compete in Saturday's scrimmage.

Omotosho officially joined the Pirates on Wednesday after not catching a pass for the Bruins from 2016-18. Houston gave insight on…

081519_gdr_ecufootball2.jpg

August 14, 2019

East Carolina first-year football coach Mike Houston does not like to say that one side "won" a practice, but a big rebound day by the Pirates' offensive line left an impression on him that the offense was superb Wednesday.

Quarterback play also was efficient and the running backs, including…

5d544051a6d06.image.jpg
173 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 18
        Next Page»   Last Page»