Pirates Take the Series 2-1 * Fall in the Finale
Dylan Johnson / ESPN Greenville
The East Carolina University Pirates hosted Monmouth over the weekend at Clark-LeClair Stadium and won the
series two games to one. ECU won the first two games by scores of 3-1 and 10-0 but lost the finale by a score of 8-5. ECU is now 5-2 on the season, and Monmouth picks up its first win at 1-5. ECU is now 23-5 against Monmouth all time. Here are some takeaways:
- Lucky number seven: ECU received starting pitching mastery from Alec Burleson and Jake Agnos. Burleson pitched seven innings and allowed only one run while striking out a career-high ten batters. Burleson struck out at least one batter in each of his seven innings. Agnos also went seven innings, giving up no runs and tying his career high with 11 strikeouts. Agnos didn’t allow a single runner to reach third base, in a start head coach Cliff Godwin called the best of his career. Godwin said it was key for those two to go deep, with ECU playing two-midweek games next week.
- More Burleson: Burleson didn’t just dominate on the mound Saturday, he also raked at the plate. Burleson went 6-for-7 on the day (3-for-3 in game 1 and 3-for-4 in game 2) and drove in three runs while scoring two himself. Burleson is currently leading the team in batting average (.577), hits (15), doubles (3), total bases (21) and tied for the lead in RBI (8).
- Not so lucky number seven: ECU was coasting on Sunday with starter Tyler Smith allowing just one run through six innings and the Pirates up 5-1. Everything unraveled in the seventh inning. Smith gave up two runs, reliever Trey Benton gave up two more runs and Evan Voliva gave up another run. Sam Lanier would allow two more runs in the ninth inning and Monmouth had run off seven unanswered runs to go from down 5-1 to win 8-5.
- Freshman showing up: ECU got some stand-out performances from some freshman over the weekend. Thomas Francisco recorded his first career RBI in the season opener on a double, and then blasted his first career home run on Sunday. To top it off, he followed it up with another home run for a multi-home run day. Giles also stood out, going 4-for-7 during Saturday’s doubleheader and driving in a team-high three runs on Sunday.
- Double frenzy: During ECU’s 10-0 win in the second game of the series, the Pirates hit for five consecutive doubles to score four runs in the bottom of the third in a previously scoreless game. The streaky hitters were Ryder Giles, Nick Barber, Burleson, Bryson Worrell, and Jake Washer.
- Early-season lessons: ECU head coach Cliff Godwin lamented on the loss as being another lesson in the early going of this season, saying the players thought they could coast through the game on Sunday. “I knew they were better than what their record was and I sensed it in the dugout when we were up 5-1 that our guys got off the button a little bit and we quit pushing forward. It’s another great lesson for our guys,” Godwin told reporters after the game.
- Injury updates: Godwin gave an update on injured outfielder Bryant Packard and first baseman Spencer Brickhouse. “Packard is not ready to swing a bat yet. I’m not a doctor but I would say Brickhouse will be ready after Packard if I had to guess,” Godwin told reporters after the game. He also said it’s “highly unlikely” that either of them will play Monday against Air Force.
Now Godwin will have to ready his team for its two midweek home games, Monday against Air Force and Wednesday against Elon, both games at 4 p.m