ECU, on a win streak and sitting atop the AAC standings, came into Tampa and did exactly what it was supposed to in the series opener against the struggling USF Bulls.
Jake Washer provided the offense, Jake Agnos pitched a gem and ECU defeated USF 4-0 Friday night. That makes seven straight wins for ECU (19-6, 4-0 AAC), while USF (12-12, 1-3 AAC) has lost five out of its last six games.
Washer’s offense came in the second inning with two outs. Thomas Francisco singled to start the two-out rally and Brady Lloyd walked to set up Washer. Washer crushed the home run over the center field fence.
The other run for ECU came an inning later, also with two outs. Bryant Packard led off the inning with a walk. Lane Hoover laid down a sac bunt to get him to second. Spencer Brickhouse struck out but Alec Burleson knocked an RBI single to score Packard.
ECU’s offense wasn’t exactly rolling on all cylinders, recording just eight hits. The Pirates did draw seven walks and struck out six fewer times than the Bulls. Luckily for the Pirates, the four runs scored in the second and third innings were all they needed to win.
Jake Agnos was great again on the mound, going six scoreless innings while striking out 11. Agnos has been getting hitters to consistently swing-and-miss all season long as he has struck out seven or more hitters in six straight starts now. Agnos easily got the win and is up to 4-1 on the season.
Sam Lanier and Ryder Giles provided scoreless relief, with Lanier throwing the seventh and eighth innings and Giles throwing the ninth. The two kept up solid bullpen pitching for ECU, shoring up something that wasn’t a guarantee coming into the season.
The Pirates kept USF’s slugging first baseman Joe Genord at bay. Genord got involved in banter with ECU fans a year ago after pimping a homerun off of Pirate reliever Gavin Williams. Genord leads the Bulls with a .350 batting average and seven home runs but was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in Friday’s action.