ECU opened up its AAC conference schedule with a wild 13-8 win over UCF, a team who has won five of its last six including against nationally-ranked Florida State. ECU was coming off of a sweep over Maryland.
- Things got testy: In the fifth inning when Matthew Mika hit a three-run home run off of Jake Agnos, Mika pimped it by carrying his bat to first base before dropping it. ECU head coach Cliff Godwin wasn’t happy and confronted the UCF third base coach. Next batter, Agnos threw the first pitch up and in as a warning. Umpires warned both dugouts. ECU had a quick team meeting in the dugout between innings.
- Godwin on the situation: “Mika’s a very good player, but he doesn’t need to do that. I’ve known their third base coach for a long time and he apologized to me afterward. But I’m not going to have someone disrespect our team like that. When you’re at first base and flip the bat at first base, I’m not into the new school baseball stuff. That’s not right and not the way to play the game.
- Godwin, continued: “I went out to the mound to tell Jake and Washer to make sure we don’t hit this guy. Then, of course, Jake misses his spot and it looked like I told him I wanted to hit him. But that wasn’t the case,” Godwin said.
- Alec Burleson’s take on it: “I saw him at first later on and he apologized. He said he didn’t mean anything by it and he seemed cool,” Burleson said.
- Both coaches were content with their starters struggling in order to eat innings: UCF starter Chris Williams gave up 10 runs in the first 2.2 innings but lasted 4.0 innings. Agnos gave up six runs in 4.1 innings of work. Agnos got to nine strikeouts and fanned two batters in each of first three innings. ECU pitchers struck out a UCF batter to end the inning in 7 out of 9 innings.
- The Pirate offense was rolling: ECU recorded seven 2-out RBIs and scored nine runs with two outs. Spencer Brickhouse, Lane Hoover, Bryant Packard, and Jake Washer all combined for four doubles. ECU scored in four consecutive innings and the fifth inning was the first time ECU was retired in order. “I thought it was good for our offense to have a really good approach against a really good arm. The guy’s a fifth-year senior, he’s been in the league and he’s tough. We put together a lot of quality at-bats the first three innings,” Godwin said.
- UCF returned the fireworks: The Golden Knights blasted three home runs and plated eight runs themselves. “They’re really good offensively and when we made mistakes defensively and on the mound they made us pay,” Godwin said.
- Top of the order pop: Packard, Hoover, and Brickhouse hit 1-2-3 in ECU lineup and went a combined 7-for-13 with eight RBI’s and six runs scored.
- Burleson saves the day: UCF was coming back on ECU late when Godwin put Burleson into the game and Burleson responded with two innings and three strikeouts to stop the momentum.
- Insurance runs: Dusty Baker gives insurance with his first-ever home run in the eighth inning to make it 12-8. Dugout went crazy for him. A Brickhouse RBI triple made it 13-8 in the same inning.
ECU will go for the series win tomorrow at 4:10 p.m. with Tyler Smith getting the start.