PROVIDENCE, R.I. – ECU baseball has been picked fourth in the 2018 American Athletic Conference preseason poll as chosen by the leagues nine head coaches Thursday afternoon.
Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Cliff Godwin, the Pirates return 20 letterwinners, including 2016 Freshman All-American Dwanya Williams-Sutton, 2017 Freshman All-American Spencer Brickhouse, 2017 AAC All-Tournament Team selection Jake Agnos, weekend starters Trey Benton and Chris Holba, as well is shortstop Turner Brown.
Also stepping onto the diamond are 16 newcomers, which features eight position players, seven pitchers and one two-way player. The 2017-18 recruiting class, which received a pair of Top 20 national rankings (No. 19/Baseball America, No. 20/D1Baseball) consists of two infielders (Connor Litton and Collin Watt), three outfielders (Chandler Jenkins, Josh Netterville and Jeremy Whitehead), two catchers (Seth Caddell and Spencer Smith), one utility player (Bryson Worrell), one two-way player (Alec Burleson), and seven pitchers (Zach Barnes, Cole Beavin, Austin Covers, Noah Jones, Jake Kuchmaner, Willy Strong and Gavin Williams).
The Pirates, who are set to open their 83rd season of intercollegiate baseball on Feb. 16 at home against Western Carolina, won the 1961 NAIA National Championship, have claimed 24 conference titles (13 regular season/11 tournament), made 28 NCAA Regionals and advanced to four Super Regionals (2001, 2004, 2009 and 2016).
Season tickets are officially on sale with packages starting as low as $120. Pirate fans have seven different options to choose from and can purchase their 2018 tickets by utilizing ECU’s Online Ticket Center (http://bit.ly/2gJlK0Y) or by contacting the ECU Athletic Ticket Office at (252) 737-4500.
Chair Back – $200
Chair Back Upgrade – $400
Regular Reserved Bench – $200
Faculty/Staff Reserved Bench – $160
Senior Citizen Reserved Bench – $160
Young Grad Reserved Bench – $120
Economy Plan (Section 201/202 & Jungle) – $120
Godwin and the Pirates return to the diamond in mid-January for individual workouts before turning in their first team practice on Jan. 26th.
2018 American Athletic Conference Poll and Awards
(as selected by The American head coaches)
1. Houston (5) – 59 points
2. UConn (3) – 50
3. UCF - 49
4. ECU – 45
5. USF (1) – 43
6. Wichita State – 29
7. Memphis – 19
8. Tulane – 18
9. Cincinnati – 12
(First-place votes in parentheses)