Pirates Open AAC Tourney Against Knights

Second-seeded ECU (36-20, 15-9 AAC) will face No. 7 seed UCF (31-25, 10-14 AAC) in the American Conference baseball tournament on Wednesday.

East Carolina will begin its postseason crusade in Clearwater, Florida, when it faces Central Florida at 11 a.m. on Wednesday to open the American Conference baseball tournament.

The Pirates (36-20, 15-9 American) are the No. 2 seed in the double-elimination tournament and the conference’s coach of the year, Cliff Godwin, announced that first-team AAC senior Reid Love would be his starter on the mound.

Love, a 6-foot southpaw, finished one out shy of pitching a complete game against the Knights (31-25, 10-14 American) last month. That performance helped ECU on its way to three one-run wins against then-No.24 UCF in Greenville; marking the first time the program had swept a ranked opponent since 2007 (Cal State-Fullerton).

The Pirates enter the conference tournament having won seven of their last 10 games while the Knights, the seventh seed, have dropped three of their last. Love (7-3) will be pitted against another first-team All-AAC pitcher, Zach Rodgers, who owns a perfect 10-0 record with a 2.18 ERA.

The left side of the Knights’ infield — consisting of shortstop Dylan Moore and third baseman Tommy Williams — was recognized with first-team accolades too, while outfielder JoMarcos Woods was named to the second team. ECU slugger Luke Lowery was also named first-team All-AAC with his team-best 12 home runs this season.

The winner of Wednesday afternoon’s meeting will face the winner of Connecticut-Tulane on Thursday at 7 p.m. The loser’s bracket game is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday.

ECU has won five consecutive games against UCF to stretch its lead in the all-time series to 25-10.

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