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Kuchmaner perfect for Pirate history

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Jake Kuchmaner tags an Air Force player at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Feb. 25 of this season.

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The Daily Reflector

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Jake Kuchmaner was one strike away from the 11th no-hitter in East Carolina baseball history on March 6 when he stifled Southeastern Conference powerhouse Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss.

He didn’t complete the no-hitter.

On Sunday, he fired the first perfect game in Pirate history.

The left-handed sophomore continued his unprecedented rise for ECU baseball by retiring all 27 Maryland Terrapin batters at Maryland to seal a 3-0 victory for the No. 14 Pirates (15-6) and a weekend sweep of the Terps (10-8).

Kuchmaner finished with eight strikeouts. He was rushed and mobbed by teammates in celebration after the final out, which was his eighth strikeout.

“In the sixth inning, (pitching) coach Dan Roszel came up to me and asked how I feel and I told him I felt good,” Kuchmaner said in a postgame interview on the Pirate IMG Network. “From then on, I just had to settle in and keep reminding myself to keep going.”

Stellar defensive work included a clutch diving play at first base by Alec Burleson for the second out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

“The biggest thing was just to go one hitter at a time,” Kuchmaner said on the radio. “I just had to let my defense play, and they were phenomenal today. ... Everyone did a great job.”

The sweep gave the Pirates a 7-1 record in their last eight games.

On offense, Thomas Francisco plated two runs on a double in the top of the sixth inning for the big hit. Seth Caddell’s solo home run in the ninth made it 3-0.

Turner Brown and Spencer Brickhouse each finished 2-for-4.

Kuchmaner threw 75 pitches in relief at Duke on Tuesday. His pitch count finished at 103 on Sunday in historic fashion.

ECU outscored UM by a total of 14-1 during the weekend.

Fifteen straights wins

East Carolina’s women’s tennis team beat Elon and North Carolina A&T on Saturday afternoon to extend its winning streak to 15 matches. ECU topped Elon 6-1 and then beat N.C. A&T 5-0.

ECU (15-2) has dropped just one point in the past nine matches. The Pirates are two wins away from tying last season’s win total, which stands as the highest win total of the 2010’s. Eight matches remain in the regular season.

Softball weekend

The Pirates participated in the Mason Invitational at George Mason, going 3-1 in their first four games during a busy weekend schedule.

ECU blanked Cornell early on Sunday, winning 10-0. Erin Poepping pitched all seven innings, striking out eight with no walks and three hits allowed.

PCC updates

Pitt Community College’s softball team recorded a big sweep against Florence-Darlington Tech, using 4-2, 1-0 and 12-1 victories during the series to improve to 5-0 in Region X play.

Pitcher Emily McGee guided the 1-0 victory, striking out seven batters with no walks and three hits allowed. The 12-1 series finale featured Meghan Pullicino finishing 2-for-3 with four RBIs.

In baseball, Pitt CC won two of three at Lenoir CC. 

The Bulldogs (11-6-1, 5-4) took the first two games. A 10-4 win to begin the series included leadoff hitter Josh Netterville going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Pitcher Dylan Patrick improved to 3-0.

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ECU

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