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Pirates claim AAC Tournament

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ECU holds off Huskies

CLEARWATER, FL East Carolina freshman right-hander Joe Ingle survived a bases-loaded Connecticut threat with a game-ending fly out to left as the Pirates moved into the championship game of the American Athletic Conference tournament with a 4-2 win at Bright House Field on Saturday. Ingle earned his eighth save as the Pirates (39-20) moved into today's noon championship game against Houston (ESPNU). ... More...



Pirates top Tulane, 3-1

CLEARWATER, FL East Carolina defeated Tulane 3-1 in double-elimination bracket play in the American Athletic Conference tournament at Bright House Field on Thursday night. The Pirates improved to 2-0 in the event and 38-20 on the season. ECU will await the winner of an elimination game Friday between the Green Wave and Connecticut for a 1 p.m. matchup on Saturday. ... More...



Pirates come back in opener

CLEARWATER, FL East Carolina baseball coach Cliff Godwin and Pirates assistant Jeff Palumbo used to be on the staff at Central Florida, the Pirates' opening opponent in the American Athletic Conference tournament at Bright House Field. The Knights were a tough draw for ECU, seeded No. 2 for the event as the regular season AAC runner-up to Houston ... More...



Thumbnail: Juco PG Charles Foster

Point guard Charles Foster has become the fourth member of ECU coach Jeff Lebo's recruiting class of 2015-16. One of the top players in Kentucky coming out of high school, Foster spent the last two years at perennial junior college powerhouse Vincennes (IN) University. ... Thumbnail sketch...



Pirates ride momentum into tourney

East Carolina heads to the Sunshine State for tournament play this week at the American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship. The Pirates carry plenty of momentum to Clearwater, FL, after sweeping Cincinnati. ECU finished the regular season one game out of a share of the AAC title with Houston. ... More from Brian Bailey...

Audio: The Brian Bailey Show

The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest this week was ECU baseball coach Cliff Godwin (right) and D.H. Conley coaches Jason Mills (baseball) and Wayne Deans (softball): Replay show...



Pirates complete sweep

CINCINNATI Luke Lowery's RBI double in the top of the eighth inning lifted East Carolina to an 8-7 win on Saturday and completed a three-game sweep at Cincinnati. The Pirates concluded the regular season at 36-20 overall and 15-9 in the American Athletic Conference. ... More...



ECU captures series at Cincy

CINCINNATI East Carolina scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning after Cincinnati had taken a 1-0 lead in the second and the Pirates went on to a 6-4 American Athletic Conference win over the Bearcats on Friday night. The outcome clinched the series for ECU, which improved to 35-20 overall and 14-9 in league play. ... More...


By Al Myatt
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CLEARWATER, FL East Carolina scored five runs with two out in the fifth inning and went on to win the American Athletic Conference Tournament 9-1 over Houston at Bright House Field on Sunday.

Left-hander Nick Durazo (5-0) held the AAC regular season winners to one hit and no runs over the final five innings after starter David Lucroy experienced cramps in his right forearm.

Durazo struck out five and didn't allow a walk.

The Pirates improved to 40-20 and will learn their circumstances for the NCAA Tournament at an announcement gathering at BW3's sports bar inside Arlington Square in Greenville at noon today.

Bryce Harman's single with two down in the fifth started ECU's decisive frame. Designated hitter Luke Bolka followed with a home run well over the fence in left for a 3-1 Pirates lead.

A single by Hunter Allen, who received the event's Most Outstanding Player award, kept the inning going. Charlie Yorgen singled and Reid Love was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Eric Tyler walked to force in a run. Luke Lowery's single to right field scored two runs for a 6-1 ECU lead.

Allen singled to left field in the ninth with one out and Love singled to center with two away. An error on a hot grounder to third by Tyler allowed Allen to score and put the Pirates ahead, 7-1.

Garrett Brooks entered the game to run for Tyler and two runs came home on a single to left by Lowery on a full count pitch as ECU extended its margin to 9-1.

Yorgen was hit by a pitch with one out in the first inning and Love singled. A double steal preceded a grounder to the right side by Tyler that put ECU on top, 1-0.

A sacrifice fly on a foul ball to left by Justin Montemayor allowed the Cougars (42-18) to tie the score at 1 in the bottom of the second before Lucroy stranded two runners in scoring position.

Lucroy allowed four hits and one earned run while walking two and recording one strikeout.

The Pirates claimed their first league tournament title since beating Houston 4-0 in the Conference USA championship at Grainger Stadium in Kinston on May 26, 2002. Former ECU coach Keith LeClair, stricken with ALS, watched that game from a vehicle parked down the right field line.

ECU played its first season in the AAC in 2015.

Current ECU skipper Cliff Godwin, the AAC Coach of the Year, played for LeClair and has worn his No. 23 jersey this season in his first year as coach at his alma mater.

"They've been ready to go all day," Godwin said during an in-game interview Sunday on ESPNU. "They know they're playing for a championship ring and to get to 40 wins. Those were two of our goals."

Houston had taken two of three from ECU in a series May 8-10 that allowed the Cougars to claim the AAC regular season title. Houston sandwiched decisive 10-1 and 11-1 wins around a 4-1 Pirates victory pitched by Love that weekend.

ECU has won eight straight since that last loss in Houston.

Seth Romero pitched his first complete game for the Cougars in the earlier seven-inning triumph on the 10-run mercy rule. Romero started Sunday but was pulled during ECU's fifth-inning surge.

Godwin planned to use Bolka in that May 10 matchup. Bolka's home run was his second in 27 at-bats for the Pirates this season.

"I was going to start him the last time we faced Romero in Houston but he dove for a ball in the outfield and jammed his shoulder," the ECU coach said. "He's got power for us and he's got a quick bat. We just sent him out there and hoped he'd run into one. We looked like geniuses when that worked out."

Freshman reliever Joe Ingle, who picked up his eighth save in a 4-2 win over Connecticut on Saturday, was named to the AAC All-Tournament team along with teammates Allen, Love and Lowery.

05/25/2015 02:14 AM