May 13 - Jake Agnos is likely to be selected by the time the Major League Baseball Draft ends on June 5, and the Battlefield graduate’s current team, No. 8 East Carolina, could very-well be one of the eight teams that begin play the following day in the College World Series.
On Friday, Agnos tossed seven shutout innings - running his scoreless innings streak to 25 - while striking out six as the Pirates (39-12 overall, 18-3 conference) to begin a weekend in which his club took two of three at Wichita State. East Carolina, which beat No. 11 North Carolina, 9-5, last week, enters tomorrow’s non-league game against Campbell winners of 14 of their past 16 and 6.5 games ahead of second-place Tulane. The Pirates have clinched the top seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament and will finish their regular season with a three-game series this weekend against Memphis.
At the center of the success has been Agnos, the Pirates’ junior left-hander who was a two-time NOVA Nine Team selection and our Player of the Year in 2016. The southpaw is 8-2 with a 2.19 ERA over his 13 starts, and he ranks ninth nationally in strikeouts (114) and strikeouts per nine innings (13.15). He’s recorded double-digit strikeouts in four of those starts, and has posted those numbers while showing improved control, walking just 31 in 78 innings after issuing 38 passes in 63.2 innings last spring.
"We are a close knit group and we are in the midst of a special season, but we all understand there is still a lot of work to do to accomplish our goals,” Agnos said. “We talk about it all the time, but we just have to go out each day and play our game and if we can do that, we will be in a good position to win a bunch of games."
Agnos continues to climb East Carolina’s record books. He needs six strikeouts to break Larry Crayton’s single-season mark set in 1961, and he currently ranks ninth all-time with 264 career strikeouts. The program record is 334, set from 2008-11 by Seth Maness, who pitched for five Major League seasons with St. Louis and Kansas City and is now pitching in the Texas Rangers system.
Last month, the 5-foot-11, 207-pound Agnos was one of 40 players named to the midseason watch for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to college baseball’s best player. He raised his draft profile last summer while with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, and he is expected to be chosen sometime on the second day of the draft. The first two rounds are selected on Day 1, with rounds 3-10 on Day 2 and rounds 11-40 on Day 3.
The Pirates will begin defense of their AAC championship when the tournament begins on May 21 in Clearwater, FL.
Note: This story was updated after originally posting on May 9.
Photo of Jake Agnos courtesy of East Carolina Athletic