Veteran lefties are proven aces for Pirates, Huskies
By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector
Thursday, April 18, 2019
A premier matchup on the pitcher’s mound should highlight Game 1 of the Connecticut-East Carolina baseball series, which begins today at 6:30 p.m. and ends Saturday at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Jake Agnos has been the ace for the American Athletic Conference-leading Pirates and is likely to be opposed tonight by UConn’s Mason Feole, who was voted as the AAC preseason pitcher of the year. Both players are junior left-handers with plenty of weekend AAC experience.
Agnos is 4-2 with a 3.16 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 51.1 innings in his junior campaign. Feole has only pitched 37.2 innings in seven starts, coming in with a 1-2 record and 3.35 ERA.
Tulane, UConn and Houston are viewed as the main threats to the 12th-ranked Pirates (26-10, 8-1) in the American.
ECU already won two of three during a series at Houston, and the Pirates host Tulane next weekend. Tulane is 7-2 in the league and is playing at Memphis for Easter weekend.
UConn (24-13, 7-5) is 5-1 in its last six games, using a balanced offensive attack to beat Massachusetts 10-7 on Tuesday.
The Pirates also swung hot bats on Tuesday night at Elon, winning 9-4 to stop a three-game losing skid after being swept at UCLA. The Elon contest also ended eight straight road games for East Carolina in which it posted a 4-4 record.
“I learned that if they’re the No. 1 team in the country, which I think they have proven that from the start of the season up until this point, then we are very close,” Pirate coach Cliff Godwin said of last weekend playing three tight games — 7-5, 8-5 and 3-0 — against the No. 1 Bruins.
ECU is 15-3 in home games.
Alec Burleson was the Pirates’ starting pitcher against Elon, but he threw only 35 pitches in two innings. Cam Colmore was used for 30 pitches, Sam Lanier 13 and Evan Odum provided a solid relief outing with 55 pitches spanning 3.2 innings and one run allowed with six strikeouts.
Spencer Brickhouse hit one of the Pirates’ three home runs, giving him a team-best nine homers and 31 RBIs for the season. Bryant Packard and Jake Washer also homered.
Christian Fedko, Connecticut: Fedko has a .303 batting average, but his crafty plate approach boosts his on-base percentage to a team-best .463 mark barely ahead of teammate Anthony Prato (.462). Fedko leads the American with 34 walks, and he typically bats fourth or fifth in the Huskies’ batting order.
Burleson, East Carolina: ECU’s main two-way player should be in the batting order for all three games, but after being limited to 35 pitches on Tuesday, the lefty also could be used out of the bullpen for a game or two versus the Huskies.
Contact Ronnie Woodward at email@example.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.