ECU’s Cole making most of his opportunities

Published 6:40 pm Friday, May 1, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Britton Cole was certainly a bright spot on an otherwise dark day for the No. 21 East Carolina Pirates.
Cole, who hails from Chocowinity, was masterful in a relief outing during ECU’s 10-8 loss to the Elon Phoenix on Tuesday night. After Elon put up 10 runs over the first four innings, Cole held the Phoenix in check the rest of the way.
While the Pirates couldn’t overcome the early deficit, the 6-0, 174-pound right-hander certainly demonstrated that he belongs on the hill.
Cole, the son of Ernie and Connie Cole, pitched a career-high 4 2/3 innings. In throwing 68 pitches, the ECU senior scattered four hits while striking out one and walking one.
Cole, who threw the gem in front of his parents and admitted that his arm felt like “a rock” the following day, said he was surprised about the length of his outing.
Cole said having control of his pitches helped.
It was Cole’s fourth appearance of the season, and seventh overall in a Pirates’ uniform. Cole (0-0, 1.08 ERA) has given up just one run on seven hits in 8 1/3 innings pitched, fanning four and walking two in that time.
Cole said if it weren’t for Herman Ingalls and Greysen Ingalls, he wouldn’t be wearing a Pirates uniform today.
While he’s been a part of the ECU team the last two years, Cole hasn’t had many chances to shine. He admitted that not getting to pitch has been a trying process.
Surrendering runs is something Cole seems to avoid. Kyle Maxie’s ninth-inning home run in ECU’s 13-5 win over Southern Miss last weekend was the first earned run Cole had allowed as a Pirate.
The industrial technology major has never had an ERA higher than 1.58.
Cole made three appearances last season, allowing two unearned runs on six hits and putting up a 0.00 ERA. He struck out four and walked two in 3 1/3 innings of work.
Prior to joining the Pirates, Cole pitched two years at Pitt Community College. Cole was 4-1 with a team-best five saves and 1.58 ERA during his sophomore season. He logged 45 2/3 innings of work, striking out 38 and walking 13 in 16 appearances.
Cole had a 1.42 ERA over two appearances during his freshman campaign with the Bulldogs.
While he’s only gotten spot duty this season, after his performance Tuesday night, Cole may be called upon more often.
His first chance may be this weekend when the Pirates (32-14, 12-6 C-USA) play host to the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (21-22-1, 10-13 Sun Belt) in a three-game non-conference series at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
A lifelong fan of the Pirates, Cole is happy to contribute to his favorite team.