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I got the surprise of my life when people were complaining about a DR editorial. You mean the BYH column is not the...

Pirates rally to claim Shockers finale

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East Carolina's Tyler Smith throws a pitch during their game against Maryland on March 18, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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The Daily Reflector

Sunday, May 12, 2019

There was not much shock value to Wichita State’s early lead on Sunday against the East Carolina baseball team, which didn’t face the possibility of its potential first American Athletic Conference series loss for too long in an eventual 7-3 clincher by the visiting Pirates.

ECU (39-12, 18-3 AAC) trailed 1-0 after the first inning, but a four-run third and a three-run seventh combined with a steady five innings from starter Tyler Smith (7-0) to spell the Pirates’ seventh league series victory in as many tries. Wichita rebounded from Friday’s loss to claim the second game on Saturday.

Alec Burleson looped an RBI double to help key the decisive third frame, while Lane Hoover added a double and two runs scored as part of a 2-for-3 day. Turner Brown drove in a pair despite going 0-for-5 and Dusty Baker singled home a run for ECU, which oddly scored its seven runs on just five hits, while the Shockers managed just their three scores despite 13 hits.

WSU also committed three errors.

Usual ECU power sources Bryant Packard and Spencer Brickhouse were a combined 0-for-7 in the game, but ECU made the most of its chances.

After Jordan Boyer stole home in the bottom of the first to give WSU the lead, ECU rallied in the third off starter and losing pitcher Connery Peters.

Hoover and Burleson traded doubles to tie the score, 1-1. Brown and Jake Washer - who also tripled in the game - drove in two more runs on groundouts before Baker’s single capped the inning and gave the Pirates the lead for good, 4-1.

In the seventh, Hoover helped to manufacture an insurance run when he beat out an infield single, advanced on Brickhouse’s second walk of the day and stole third before coming home to score on Brown’s sacrifice bunt. The final tallies came on an outfield error that doomed the Shockers.

Burleson, Zach Barnes, Evan Voliva and Cam Colmore all made relief appearances to help keep Smith’s unblemished season record intact. Smith, meanwhile, showcased his game management skills, yielding two runs off eight hits while walking two and striking out four.

East Carolina is back home to finish the final week of the regular season. The Pirates play host to Campbell on Tuesday night for their final non-league tilt and then welcome Memphis to town for a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series to close out AAC play.

The regular season champion Pirates will also be favored to win the league tournament, which swings into action next Tuesday, May 21 in Clearwater, Fla.

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

August 24, 2019 - 15 minutes ago

Here’s our East Carolina beat writer Ronnie Woodward’s shot at ECU football’s starting lineup against N.C. State. First-year Pirate coach Mike Houston should be releasing the team’s Week 1 depth chart Tuesday during his news conference.

Here it is:

OFFENSE

QB -- Holton…

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August 24, 2019 - 15 minutes ago

First-year East Carolina football coach Mike Houston has mainly established his starters and is in the fine-tuning phase of August as the noon kickoff against N.C. State in Raleigh is exactly one week away.

ECU was established as a 17-point underdog to the Wolfpack and has the task of trying to…

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August 24, 2019 - 1 minute ago

East Carolina begins its first season under coach Mike Houston one week from today and is aiming to finish better than its three straight 3-9 records from 2016-18. The Pirates haven’t had a winning record since going 8-5 in 2014 under Ruffin McNeill.

Where are the wins in this year’s…

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August 24, 2019 - 15 minutes ago

New East Carolina football players reported to preseason camp on Aug. 1, about eight months after athletics director Jon Gilbert and football coach Mike Houston reported to Greenville as instant leaders of a new era of Pirate athletics.

It is in many ways still a rebuilding project, which Gilbert…

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August 22, 2019

East Carolina’s first athletic event of the academic year started and stopped and continued again and stopped again, then was canceled because of inclement weather.

ECU’s women’s soccer team was not able to finish Thursday night’s match against George Mason, even with the…

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August 22, 2019

First-year East Carolina defensive coordinator Bob Trott and first-year Pirate football head coach Mike Houston were similar with their words Wednesday that they think they know what to expect from N.C. State's offense, but they said preparing for an opponent during Week 1 of the season is…

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August 21, 2019

Many intricacies and focuses for East Carolina football players have changed with Monday's start to the fall semester and the N.C. State game a little more than a week away, but Pirate coach Mike Houston had no plans of intensity dipping with the transition from preseason workouts to in-season and…

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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.

New offensive principles are in place at ECU under a new coaching staff, leading to some intrigue about Ahlers and his run availability. Would this staff, led…

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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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