Bless the heart of the county commissioners, I think we all will come knocking on your doors when we receive our new...

Super regional is super tough again for ECU

NCAA Louisville East Carolina Baseball
1 of 2

East Carolina players look on as Louisville players celebrate after defeating ECU to win an NCAA super regional at Jim Patterson Stadium on Saturday in Louisville, Ky.

APTOPIX NCAA Louisville East Carolina Baseball

The Daily Reflector

Sunday, June 9, 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.

Instead Omaha will welcome Louisville back to college baseball’s biggest stage, while ECU and its contingent of fans who made the trip to Louisville are left proud of a historic season by the Pirates but a familiar feeling about ending a few wins shy of Omaha.

Louisville beat ECU 12-0 on Saturday afternoon to sweep the super regional in two games and end the Pirates’ season.

“I am going to reflect on how great of a season we had and these kids are hurting,” said Pirate fifth-year head coach Cliff Godwin, who is an ECU alum and played for the Pirates from 1998-2001 under coach Keith LeClair. “I am hurting and just want to be there for my guys.”

Louisville coach Dan McDonnell opened his postgame news conference with insight about ECU and the difficulty of super regional losses.

This was ECU’s 30th season in the NCAA tournament. East Carolina still has the most NCAA appearances without ever making the eight-team College World Series.

“I got to watch a lot of footage of them when they hosted their regional, and I told Cliff this week that, man, that place was rocking and you have it going on there,” said McDonnell, who is in his 13th season at Louisville with a 603-238 record. “ After this game I told him that I know how much it hurts. Unfortunately or fortunately, I’ve been there.

“What his fan base has to understand is that if you are going to live in the world of hosting regionals and being part of super regionals, you are going to have some really tough defeats,” McDonnell said. “No one is immune from that, and that is part of it.”

Attendance for the Cardinals’ 14-1 win on Friday for Game 1 was 2,955. On Saturday it was 4,458 watching as Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse Louisville led 6-0 after three innings and left no doubt as the first team in the country to clinch a spot in Omaha.

Keeping with a college baseball tradition, Louisville’s players stormed out of their dugout after the final out and celebrated with a dogpile on the pitcher’s mound. The Cardinals are heading to the College World Series for the fifth time in their history, the fourth since 2012.

The Cardinals’ celebration was similar to what ECU experienced on the winning end after defeating Campbell twice on Monday to take the Greenville Regional championship at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

“It’s been the world to me, especially last weekend to go out at Clark-LeClair with a dogpile,” fifth-year senior pitcher Evan Voliva said. “That was awesome.”

ECU finished its season with 47 wins and 18 losses, its most wins since 2004.

Season highlights for the Pirates included pitcher Jake Kuchmaner throwing a perfect game at Maryland and ECU winning the Greenville Regional with four wins in two days. East Carolina also set a new American Athletic Conference record with 20 AAC wins during the regular season.

“We didn’t just win the (Greenville) Regional, but we dominated it and were back-to-back regional hosts,” Godwin said. “These kids have done so much for our program and for East Carolina University. They are unbelievable ambassadors.

“Jake Agnos is an All-American on the (pitcher’s) mound and he also is an academic All-American,” he said. “Alec Burleson is an All-American and he’s third-team academic All-American. I could not be happier with where our program is.”

Godwin brought senior representatives Voliva, Turner Brown and Sam Lanier, along with fourth-year junior catcher Jake Washer, to the postgame news conference for them to reflect on their careers.

“I thank Pirate Nation for sticking by our side, through the ups and the downs,” Brown said. “We love this place.”

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 24, 2019

Prep teams from all over North Carolina and Virginia took the fields at North Recreation Complex on Saturday with bragging rights on the line during East Carolina football’s annual Beast of the East 7-on-7 tournament.

Representing Pitt County was D.H. Conley, which made its mark especially on…


June 24, 2019

From kicking specialists to soon-to-be Pirate signees to exuberant youngsters and women ready to take the field and play more football, first-year East Carolina coach Mike Houston is using June and July to welcome all kinds of campers to ECU football's facilities and fields.

Last week provided a…


June 23, 2019

East Carolina baseball athletic trainer Zac Womack was first to receive a call from the Cleveland Indians about ECU injured pitcher Trey Benton, who received the final call from the Indians on June 5 when they drafted him in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

Benton, a junior right-…


June 21, 2019

An East Carolina official team spokesman confirmed Friday afternoon that ECU basketball guard Shawn Williams, the American Athletic Conference rookie of the year for 2017-18, entered the NCAA transfer portal.

The Pirates have Jayden Gardner and Seth LeDay returning from last season’s team,…


June 19, 2019

A bill that would allow alcohol sales to the general public during UNC system sporting events and open a new revenue source for East Carolina University and other state universities is headed to the governor.

House Bill 389 was approved Monday by the state Senate and on Wednesday passed in the…


June 19, 2019

Each of the four American Athletic Conference basketball teams that participated in the 2019 NCAA tournament will visit Minges Coliseum to play East Carolina during the upcoming season, but talented Memphis is not on ECU’s home schedule.

The American Athletic Conference announced its league…


June 18, 2019

Slugger Spencer Brickhouse joined two East Carolina baseball teammates this week to give the Pirates three All-Americans in the same season for the first time since 2004, when four Pirates earned All-America status.

The Pirates have had an All-American on their team every year dating back to 2013.…


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…

NCAA East Carolina Louisville Baseball

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…

NCAA Louisville East Carolina Baseball
221 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 23
        Next Page»   Last Page»