Surging ECU Finds Its Offensive StrideColumns
GREENVILLE, N.C. — The first month was a bit uneven for East Carolina, a very talented and experienced team that carried a No. 11 national ranking into the season. The Pirates weren’t bad — they still haven’t had a losing weekend, but they were a rather modest 8-5 after 13 games. Nagging injuries to each of ECU’s Big Three lineup linchpins — Bryant Packard, Spencer Brickhouse and Alec Burleson — played a significant role in the offense being just a bit out of sorts in the early going.
Now, those three dangerous lefthanded hitters are all healthy and heating up — and accordingly, so are the Pirates. ECU has won 9 of its last 10 since that 8-5 start, and it has opened American Athletic Conference play this weekend with a quality series win over a projected regionals team, UCF. The Pirates clinched that series with a 7-4 win Saturday and will go for the sweep on Sunday.
“We just have come together as a group a lot better,” East Carolina coach Cliff Godwin said. “Early on, you’re trying to fit the pieces together, it just didn’t seem to flow. Packard missed time, Brickhouse missed time, Burleson missed time. It was tough to get an offensive flow going. Lane Hoover has helped solidify the 2-hole for us offensively and has played really good defense. Turner Brown has been swinging the bat really good and playing an unbelievable shortstop. The leadership has just come to the top, and guys have taken a lot of ownership of us continuing to become better teammates.”