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Veteran lefties are proven aces for Pirates, Huskies

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East Carolina's Jake Agnos throws during a practice earlier this season.

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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.

WEEKEND WATCH

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 rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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ECU

August 20, 2019

No more waiting for Holton Ahlers or the rest of the East Carolina football team or Pirate fans.

With next Saturday’s noon kickoff at N.C. State getting closer and closer, first-year Pirate coach Mike Houston officially announced after Tuesday’s practice that Ahlers will be his…

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August 20, 2019

Quarterback Holton Ahlers led East Carolina’s football team in rushing last season with 592 yards and six touchdowns on 119 carries.

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August 19, 2019

East Carolina first-year football coach Mike Houston described the Pirates' No. 1 center, Branden Pena, as a "tough joker" on Saturday.

The football-centric praise showed how far the relationship has come between Pena and Houston since December.

"Branden Pena is a guy that I didn't know his name…

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August 17, 2019

Moments of reflection Saturday brought East Carolina first-year head football coach Mike Houston back to the spring.

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Darius Pinnix displayed his punishing rushing…

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August 17, 2019

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August 17, 2019

In an exhibition match defined by defense, Jenna Dages scored the only goal for the East Carolina women’s soccer team to top VCU 1-0 on Friday night inside Johnson Stadium.

Dages’ goal came at the 45:34 mark. From there, goalie Meaghan Haley and ECU's defense helped to maintain the lead.…

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August 17, 2019

Here are five East Carolina football players who have stepped up during preseason camp and will be looking to continue their momentum when the Pirates complete camp with a scrimmage Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium:

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August 16, 2019

East Carolina’s football practice Friday morning ended with center Branden Pena snapping to quarterback Holton Ahlers in the victory formation, and then the Pirates celebrated. Kicker Jake Verity also made a 57-yard field goal during a late-game sequence.

On the day before an important…

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August 16, 2019

Jayda Hylton-Pelaia has played countless soccer matches in Canada and the United States, impressing plenty of observers with her fluid dribbling and defensive skills.

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August 15, 2019

Bruce Bivens is as vocal as ever on the East Carolina football defense, which can both excite and worry first-year Pirate coach Mike Houston.

Bivens' voice is important and it carries now in the middle of ECU's defense as he approaches his junior season and his second year as a starting inside…

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