No. 14 ECU lost 7-2 to No. 24 Duke in Durham Tuesday afternoon. The loss snaps a four-game winning streak for the Pirates and sets them back to 12-6 while the Blue Devils improve to 12-5.
- The streak: ECU had dominated Duke in baseball for quite some time, as this game snapped what was a 17-game winning streak against the Blue Devils. The last time Duke had defeated ECU was May 10, 1998. Of course Duke lost to ECU last season but still managed a 45-18 season and came just one win away from the College world Series.
- Bad start: ECU pitcher Gavin Williams had made three good starts to begin the season but simply didn’t have his best stuff in this game. Williams gave up five runs and only was able to get through the first inning. After getting the leadoff hitter out, the next four batters reached base to get the Blue Devils on the board. From there it was a fielder’s choice and two more hits that led to the five run lead. ECU head coach Cliff Godwin told reporters that Williams was up in the zone and also down the middle, which he hadn’t done yet this year.
- Still great: Jake Kuchmaner received AAC pitcher-of-the-week and one of Collegiate Baseball’s national player-of-the-week awards after his 8.2 innings of no-hit baseball against top-10 Ole Miss last Wednesday. Kuchmaner did well against Duke, salvaging the game somewhat. Kuchmaner pitched 5.2 innings of relief and allowed just one run on one hit. Evan Voliva allowed the last Duke run after Kuchmaner.
- No edge: Despite ECU’s great bullpen pitching continuing, Duke’s bullpen pitched great as well. Three different relievers combined to throw 4.1 scoreless innings and only allow two hits. ECU’s offense managed just four hits total as a team, and two of those were Alec Burleson’s. The Pirates got on the board in the third inning with Turner Brown reaching on a fielder’s choice that scored Ryder Giles. They got their second run in the fifth inning when Burleson singled that scored Giles again.
ECU now turns its attention toward College Park, Maryland for a matchup with Maryland. Maryland came to Greenville last season for a weekend series at Clark-LeClair and ECU absolutely dominated the matchup. The Pirates swept the series and outscored Maryland 26-4 over the three games.