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Array of arms available vs. UCF

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East Carolina pitcher Jake Agnos, left, talks with coach Cliff Godwin during a practice this season.


The Daily Reflector

Friday, March 22, 2019

East Carolina should have a full arsenal of pitchers rested and ready for its first American Athletic Conference baseball series of this weekend.

No. 14 ECU did not play against UNC Wilmington on Wednesday because of rain. Gavin Williams was scheduled to start, but missing that game could allow him and Alec Burleson to be available out of the bullpen this weekend versus UCF to complement the Pirates’ likely starting trio of Jake Agnos, Tyler Smith and Jake Kuchmaner.

ECU also does not have a midweek game next week.

Pitching and defense paced the Pirates (15-6) last weekend in their sweep at Maryland, giving the team a 7-1 record in eight games heading into the matchup against the Knights and their matching 15-6 record.

“We are going to focus on each day as a separate entity and just try to continue to build on the momentum of what we had from the past weekend,” ECU coach Cliff Godwin said before a practice this week.

The AAC preseason poll was led by the Pirates in first place. UCF was fourth.

In addition to the quality pitching in Maryland the Pirates received from Agnos, Smith and Kuchmaner, who tossed ECU’s first-ever perfect game, combined with scoreless relief work by Zach Barnes, Evan Odum and Burleson, ECU did not commit a defensive error all weekend. In all, the Pirates outscored the Terrapins 14-1 to sweep the series.

“You are talking about 27 innings of work without an error and a lot of web gems,” Godwin said. 

UCF is 5-1 in its last six games. The Knights already have midweek victories at Florida and Florida State, the latter coming Tuesday when three different Knights recorded at least two RBIs in a 9-7 win.

First baseman Tyler Osik was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, upping his season batting average to .390. Ray Alejo (.336) and Dallas Beaver each have four home runs this year.

Connecticut and UCF are the only AAC teams with top-25 RPI rankings. UCF was the leader Thursday at No. 18, UConn No. 21 and the Pirates were 52nd.


Jeffrey Hakanson, UCF: Hakanson is tied for the American lead with five saves, and his 25 strikeouts in 12.2 innings are certainly noteworthy. The right-hander also has shown some vulnerability in giving up eight runs and three home runs, equaling a 5.68 ERA in his 10 relief appearances.

Jake Kuchmaner, East Carolina: This is the easy choice after last Sunday, when the sophomore lefty spun the first perfect game in Pirate history. He comes into the weekend with a 2-0 record, 1.48 ERA, 28 strikeouts and five walks in 30.1 innings.

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


Humans of Greenville


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


June 11, 2019


East Carolina alum Cliff Godwin was hired as ECU’s 16th head baseball coach on June 25, 2014, and within a week, he and the Pirates received a verbal commitment from a local standout in D.H. Conley High School star hitter Bryant Packard.

In the following weeks and months, ECU…

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June 11, 2019

East Carolina baseball coach Cliff Godwin said Tuesday morning he has not been contacted by Florida State about its coaching vacancy, and he also said that all five ECU juniors who were drafted last are leaving school and pursuing their professional careers.

The juniors leaving are Jake Agnos,…


June 09, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It was a difficult postgame exchange between East Carolina fifth-year baseball coach Cliff Godwin and Louisville 13th year coach Dan McDonnell on Saturday afternoon, much like it was difficult on the Pirates during their two NCAA super regional losses to Louisville to end…

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June 09, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The thousands of fans in red and the play on the field by Louisville at Jim Patterson Stadium during the NCAA super regional round trumped East Carolina and its hopes of finally breaking through and getting to Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series this year.


NCAA Louisville East Carolina Baseball

June 08, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Jim Patterson Stadium scoreboard read during the third inning Saturday that Louisville had six runs on six hits, while East Carolina was scoreless with no hits.

If Friday’s rout by the Cardinals was not enough of a sign, it became official Saturday that ECU’s…

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June 08, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bobby Miller’s fastball-heavy approach against East Carolina on Saturday proved to be nearly unhittable.

For eight innings, it was unhittable.

Louisville baseball advanced to the College World Series, ended East Carolina’s season and Miller led a shutout of the…

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June 07, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tyler Fitzgerald, the No. 3 hitter in the Louisville batting order, finished 4-for-5 on Friday for the first four-hit game of his three-year career with the Cardinals.

No hit was more important than his RBI double during a four-run fourth inning that completely changed the…

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June 07, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The rain was steady during the most important half-inning at Jim Patterson Stadium on Friday, only adding to a dampening day for East Carolina baseball that has the Pirates back in elimination mode during the NCAA tournament.

After having its first 10 batters retired in…

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June 07, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — There were plenty of times last weekend when East Carolina’s baseball players had 5,000 fans cheering for them at Clark-LeClair Stadium and helping them navigate and force their way to an NCAA Greenville Regional championship.

It will be different this weekend,…


June 06, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -— Two more wins.

It is a historical and even monumental task for any East Carolina team at this point in the NCAA baseball tournament, but the Pirates are back in a super regional, and this team is tasked with winning a best-of-three super regional series at Louisville…

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