Agnos outfoxes Marist
By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector
Friday, March 8, 2019
As long as it ends in ‘day,’ Jake Agnos doesn’t care when he pitches, and he proved it on Friday.
With usual East Carolina Friday starter Alec Burleson uprooted from his spot and left available out of the bullpen for this weekend’s Marist series, Agnos took the ball and dazzled. The junior left-hander extended his hot streak to three straight starts with at least nine strikeouts, fanning 10 Red Foxes in seven innings en route to a 5-0 ECU win at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Pirates (10-5) backed up their starter by scoring all five of their runs in the middle innings, three in the fifth, to leave little doubt in the series opener. ECU can claim the three-game set in a scheduled 4 p.m. second game on Saturday.
“I thought I did a good job of settling down as the game went on,” said Agnos, who limited Marist (4-6) to four hits and walked one before giving way to Zach Barnes and Cam Colmore for one inning each to close out the game. “I got behind a lot of guys earlier in the game, and I think if I can get rid of those, I can go eight or nine innings.
“But I’m glad I got to settle down and let the defense work, and the offense put up five runs, so as the game went on ... I was just glad that I could keep them at zero.”
At the plate, Brady Lloyd was a perfect 3-for-3, though his lone RBI of the game came on a sacrifice fly. Lane Hoover, Spencer Brickhouse (RBI) and Jake Washer (RBI) notched two hits apiece of the Pirates’ 13 total.
Anthony Lazar (3-for-4) and Matt Rubayo (2-for-3) were the bright spots for Marist, which had seven total hits. Skylar Pichardo took the loss after throwing four innings and allowing four runs on six hits.
Washer reached on an error in the fourth and trucked around to score on Lloyd’s fly ball to right field for a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, Hoover and Brickhouse traded singles to right to lead off the inning before Burleson ripped a double the same direction to make it 2-0 Pirates. After that, Thomas Francisco’s grounder scored the third run before Washer’s RBI single to right.
“At the beginning, we didn’t string enough at-bats together, but we got stronger toward the middle and the end,” Burleson said, adding that he also doesn’t care if he is the Friday starter or a relief pitcher. “We put some at-bats together, got some runs across and Agnos pitched his butt off. When they don’t score any runs, it’s a lot easier to win.”
Bryant Packed knocked his lone single of the game to lead off the sixth and came home for the last run on Brickhouse’s RBI single.
ECU coach Cliff Godwin said Agnos might not be alone this season when it comes to pitchers who can either start or come out of the bullpen.
“Friday night starter is just another day, so you guys need to stop talking about it, to be honest with you,” Godwin said after the game. “We’re going day by day with our pitching staff, so I don’t know if Jake is going to start next Friday. I don’t know who is going to pitch on Sunday, I don’t know who is going to pitch on Tuesday for Duke.”
Contact Nathan Summers at email@example.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.