ECU welcomes in Marist this weekend
The Daily Reflector
Friday, March 8, 2019
Marist visits Clark-LeClair Stadium this weekend for East Carolina baseball’s final home nonconference series of the season.
No. 14 ECU (9-5) is coming off a solid 1-1 midweek road slate, losing 4-1 to Mississippi State on Tuesday before pitcher Jake Kuchmaner and the Pirates controlled Ole Miss on Wednesday in a 3-2 win against the No. 10 Rebels.
The Pirates used some of their top pitchers during those games against Southeastern Conference competition, led by starters Gavin Williams and Kuchmaner’s near no-hitter that spanned 8.2 innings and 106 pitches in the win over Ole Miss. He was one strike away from recording the Pirates’ 11th no-hitter in school history.
Alec Burleson, who did not finish last Sunday’s game with a leg issue and was not in the batting order for midweek action, relieved Kuchmaner but did not record an out. Sam Lanier got the final out.
Lead reliever Evan Voliva was used for the final 2.1 innings on Tuesday. He struck out six batters and lowered his ERA to 2.00 in six relief appearances in his senior year.
Jake Agnos and Tyler Smith are likely to be starting pitchers versus Marist (4-5). Agnos is slated to start Game 1.
On offense, Bryant Packard has a hit in five of the last six games. He had a 4-for-5 outing last weekend, and versus Ole Miss he was 2-for-3 with a double and run scored from the leadoff spot in the order.
Fellow left-handed hitter Spencer Brickhouse also is looking to continue his momentum. The first baseman was 1-for-3 versus Mississippi State and then 2-for-3 on Wednesday, with his three-run home run to right field plating all of the Pirates’ runs.
Burleson is batting .542, Brickhouse .400 and rookie outfielder Lane Hoover is at .391.
The Pirates are 11-0 all-time versus the Red Foxes, who play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Marist began its season by getting swept William & Mary, followed by the Red Foxes recording a sweep of their own over Presbyterian.
ECU will travel to Maryland next weekend and also plays a non-league series at UCLA in April.
Randy Taveras, Marist: The Foxes have attempted 20 stolen bases already this season and two players are 3-for-3 in their attempts, including Taveras. He also enters the weekend with a team-high .375 batting average.
Burleson, East Carolina: After extensive midweek outings by Williams and Kuchmaner and Burleson’s role still fluid as a two-way player, ECU’s starting pitching will be a weekend theme. Burleson (1-0, 3.18 ERA) is the team leader with 17 innings pitched.