Pirates continue road swing at Maryland
BY RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector
Friday, March 15, 2019
After a midweek loss to an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent in Duke, East Carolina’s baseball team now travels to a weekend series against a former ACC squad.
Big 10 member Maryland (10-5) welcomes in No. 14 ECU (12-6), beginning a stretch of the Pirates playing four out of five weekend series on the road.
“When you get off the bus, you have to be ready to play,” said Pirate first baseman and pitcher Alec Burleson, who was in the cleanup spot in the batting order Tuesday in a 7-2 loss to Duke and he went 2-for-4 as the only multi-hit ECU player. “There were a handful of guys (Tuesday night) who were just kind of walking around the field and not really with it. It goes for the whole group, and we all have to be ready to play.”
Pirate coach Cliff Godwin backed up Burleson’s comments, pointing out that he is still seeking consistency from his club. ECU went 4-1 last week, sweeping its weekend series over Marist at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
“That’s the been the m.o. and that’s my fault,” Godwin said. “We have do a better job of being consistent and playing with an edge.”
Jake Agnos is likely to start Game 1 of the weekend for the second straight week. The left-hander fired seven scoreless innings last Friday with 10 strikeouts against Marist, improving to 2-1 with a 2.78 ERA in his junior year.
A host of other Pirates are in the mix to pitch this weekend. Gavin Williams started against Duke, but he lasted only one inning and threw 23 pitches with five runs allowed. Lefty Jake Kuchmaner then went 5.2 superb innings, striking out six to continue his recent surge as a valuable starter/reliever.
Burleson was not used on the mound Tuesday.
ECU leads the all-time series over the Terrapins, 16-6.
Maryland is 4-1 in its last five games. It took two of three at Stetson last weekend, winning the rubber match 8-4 thanks to leadoff man Chris Alleyne hitting two home runs as part of a 3-for-3 game.
Lane Hoover, East Carolina: The freshman left-hander has served as a spark at times recently for the Pirates, starting two out of six games and upping his season batting average to .400 to rank second on the team behind Burleson. Hoover was 0-for-2 against Duke after replacing Dusty Baker in an outfield rotation that includes Spencer Brickhouse often in left field.
Hunter Parsons, Maryland: Since opening day, Parsons has pitched a total of 22 innings and allowed one total run with 21 strikeouts compared to three walks. The senior right-hander, who has 26 career starts, is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA this year.
Contact Ronnie Woodward at firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.