This post appears here courtesy of ECU Sports
No. 17 East Carolina (6-1) returns home Wednesday playing host to former Colonial Athletic Association foe Old Dominion (5-2). First pitch of the midweek match-up is scheduled for 4 p.m. (ET) at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Pirates, who have made 30 NCAA Regional appearances, has opened the season winning six of their first seven games which included a series sweep of Rhode Island and series win at Georgia Southern and a midweek victory against then No. 25 Duke. ECU returns return 27 players from last year's club including American Athletic All-Conference performers Tyler Smith (2018) and Jake Kuchmaner (2019), as well as Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America selection C.J. Mayhue (2020). In all, the roster consists of 22 freshmen, six sophomores, nine juniors and three seniors.
Also stepping onto the diamond are 12 newcomers in Danny Beal (RHP), Joey Berini (INF), CJ Boyd (1B/RHP), Garrett Chandler (OF), Cam Clonch (OF/1B/RHP), Landon Ginn (RHP), Josh Grosz (RHP), Ryley Johnson (OF), Josh Moylan (1B), Joey Rezek (OF/C), Austin St. Laurent (INF/RHP) and Jacob Starling (INF/OF).
2021 TEAM QUICK HITS
INDIVIDUAL QUICK HITS
- ECU opened up its 87th season of collegiate baseball (1932-42, 1946-present) with a three-game sweep of Rhode Island (Feb. 19-21).
- The Pirates have made a regional appearance in 16 of the last 21 seasons, including four of five under Godwin (2015, '16, '18, '19) — no post-season in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- Heading into this weeks action, ECU has been ranked or received votes in at least one national poll for 45-straight weeks (began in 2018 preseason) ... See page 10 for 2021 preseason rankings.
- The Pirates led the nation (2020) in fielding percentage (.990) and sac bunts (23) ... They also finished in the top 10 in batting average (.317) and hits (183).
- For the third-straight year and fourth time since joining The American in 2015, ECU was picked to finish first in the 2021 preseason poll by the league's eight head coaches.
- This season the Pirates have fanned 84 batters in seven games (12.0 kpg) and last year averaged 10.1 per contest (171 Ks in 17 games) ... They have registered double-digit strikeouts in six of seven contests including a season-high 18 at Georgia Southern (Feb. 28).
- Offensively, the Pirates have recorded double-digit hits in five-straight games heading into today's match-up against Old Dominion.
- Heading into the season, ECU has five two-way players on its roster ... Dubbed #2WayU by Godwin, the five players are Zach Agnos, Skylar Brooks, Cam Clonch, Ryder Giles and Austin St. Laurent.
PROBABLE STARTERS (2021 stats)
- Seventh-year head coach Cliff Godwin stands third on ECU's all-time wins list with 220 victories ... He passed his college coach and ECU Hall of Famer Keith LeClair (212) on March 8, 2020 with a 4-1 win at Charlotte in the series finale ... Heading into the season, he stood 15th in win percentage among active NCAA DI head coaches (page 10, bio on page 5).
- Four Pirates earned inclusion on the preseason all-conference team in OF/INF Thomas Francisco, LHP Jake Kuchmaner, 2B Connor Norby and OF Bryson Worrell ... Kuchmaner and Worrell were two of five players on the squad that were unanimous selections.
- Dating back to 2020, Kuchmaner has won his last five of his last six starts posting a 5-0 record ... In 2019 he tossed the 31st perfect game in NCAA DI history at Maryland on March 17 ... Tallied four career quality starts.
- Tyler Smith, a 2018 all-conference performer, owns an 18-3 career record (85.7 win pct.) with one save in 63 games (32 starts) ... Tallied six career quality starts.
- Seth Caddell leads the club with three home runs and is second in RBI (seven).
- Lane Hoover, who is second on the team with a .429 batting average and leads the team in stolen bases, will be sidelined for some time after leaving Saturday's game at Georgia Southern following a collision in the outfield.
- Connor Norby enters the week riding a 14-game hitting streak dating back to 2020 ... He stands atop the team stats in batting average (.483), hits (14) and is tied for first in doubles (three) ... He belted his first home run of the season to lead off Sunday's game at Georgia Southern which ECU won claiming a road series victory.
- Freshman Carson Whisenhunt continued to impress in his second start of the season (at Georgia Southern) earning his first collegiate win after working 6.2 scoreless frames where he allowed four hits, walked one and struck out 11 ... He became the first pitcher since Brooks Jernigan (1998) to record double-digit strikeouts in consecutive games ... His 11 punch outs is tied for third all-time among freshman hurlers in a single-game ... He is a two-time AAC Honor Roll selection and was named a Collegiate Baseball National Player-of-the-Week on Feb. 22.
- C.J. Mayhue earned his first career save against No. 25 Duke tossing 4.1 scoreless innings with six strikeouts ... Named to NCBWA Stopper-of-the-Year Watch List.
- Francisco hit his first home run in over a year against No. 25 Duke which was a three-run shot to right field in the seventh inning ... He is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak that began on Opening Day vs. Rhode Island.
- Seniors Matt Bridges and Cam Colmore return for their sixth year ... Combined, they have appeared in 131 games, with an 11-4 record, seven saves with 174 Ks in 173.0 IPs ... Colmore leads the club with two wins, while standing second in innings pitched and third in strikeouts.
LH Tommy Gertner (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RH Garrett Saylor (0-0, 0.00 ERA)