GREENVILLE, N.C. – Eleven high school seniors have committed to play baseball at East Carolina University in 2010, head baseball coach Billy Godwin announced today. The latest group of prep standouts will enroll at ECU in the fall of 2009 and will take the diamond for the Pirates in 2010.
The class includes six pitchers (Jake Harris, Joseph Hughes, D.J. Jauss, Tyler Joyner, Nick McBride and Tanner Merritt), three infielders (Bryan Bass, Walker Gourley and John Wooten) and two outfielders (Chris Gosik and Mike Trout).
“This is an exceptional class,” said Godwin. “Coach Jarrett and Coach Jarman did an outstanding job of recruiting players that have the ability to help our program compete for championships. We are extremely excited about this class, which consists of eight players from North Carolina and three players from out of state. Our in state commitments show that we have the ability to compete for the best players in North Carolina, while the three out of state players are among the best their states have to offer. This class most definitely has the talent that complements our returning 2010 team and will help East Carolina continue to strive for its ultimate goal of playing in Omaha.”
Bryan Bass – INF – 5-9, 160 – Northern Durham HS (Durham, N.C.)
Four-time letterwinner (3-baseball; 1-football) that has been named team captain as a senior by head coach Pete Shankle … As a freshman led the team with a .403 (26-for-62) batting average on his way to the first of three all-conference designations … Named team’s top defensive player, batted .369 (25-for-67) and was an all-conference performer as a sophomore … Earned all-state, all-conference and team MVP honors his junior season after leading the Knights in batting with a .375 (24-for-61) average … Two-time State Games Participant … Played travel baseball for Dirtbags where he was a member of the 2006-07 National Runner-up squad at the WWBA tournament in Fort Myers, Fla. for head coach Andy Partin … Helped Region 3 to a gold medal in 2007 State Games … Member of five WWBA national events helping the Dirtbags to five top-10 finishes and a second-place finish in 2007 … Played in the USA Youth National Tournament (Jupiter, Fla.) during the 2005-06 season … Currently ranked as the No. 7 prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball ... Three-time honor roll student … Personal: Full name is Bryan Thomas Bass … Born March 3, 1991 in Durham, N.C. … Son of Danny and Vicki Bass … Father played baseball at Louisburg College and N.C. State.
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “Bryan is a baseball player, who really knows how to play the game. He is a true blue collar player that will be a top of the lineup kind of hitter that has good speed and great defensive abilities.”
Chris Gosik – OF – 6-0, 210 – Malvern Prep HS (Malvern, Pa.)
Seven-time letterwinner (3-baseball; 4-hockey) that has been named team captain as a senior by head coach Michael Hickey … In two years on the varsity squad, helped the Friars to a 75-12 overall record … During sophomore season batted .479 with three home runs, 33 RBI, 20 doubles, seven triples and swiped 20 bases on the way to the Inter-Academic League Championship with a 33-9 record … Repeated as league champions (42-3) as a junior after smacking 11 home runs, with 53 RBI, 17 doubles, nine triples, 35 stolen bases and batted .508 on his way to team MVP honors … Currently ranks as the No. 7 prospect in Pennsylvania by Perfect Game … 2008 All-Star team finished 3rd in World Wood Bat Championships in Jupiter, Fla. … Named 2008 Main Line Life Player-of-the-Year, 2008 Daily Local News Spring All-Area Team, 2008 First-team All-Southeastern PA, 2008 All-Main Line Daily News, 2008 First-team All-City Baseball and was a member of the N.Y. Yankees Area Code Team … 2008 East Coast Showcase Participant… Played travel baseball for coach Mike Manning and the All-Star Baseball Academy (West Chester, Pa.) … Four-time honor roll student … Earned Malvern Prep School Father’s Club Academic Award in social studies … Two-time recipient of Perfect Attendance Award … Personal: Full name is Christopher Mark Gosik, but prefers to go by Chris … Born March 17, 1990 in Philadelphia, Pa. … Son of Mark and Donna Gosik … Father played baseball (three years) and football (one year) at West Chester University.
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “Chris is a tremendous talent. He can really run for a big guy and will hit for power and average at the college level. It is rare to find a guy with his size have speed and power. Chris projects to be a corner outfielder and a middle of the lineup hitter.”
Walker Gourley – INF/C – 6-0, 175 – Eastern Wayne HS (Goldsboro, N.C.)
Earned three letters (all baseball) under former Pirate and current Warriors head coach James “Jabo” Fulghum … Current teammate of 2009 signee John Wooten … Helped the Warriors to a 46-35 three-year record, which included a 9-1 Eastern Carolina Conference slate and the 2008 conference championship crown … All-ECC and all-area performer as a sophomore and junior … Two-time State Games Participant … During rookie season batted .289 and received All-ECC honorable mention honors … As a sophomore led the Warriors in runs scored (27) and stolen bases (15), while hitting .314 with a .465 on-base percentage … Continued to excel as a junior once again leading the squad in runs scored (39) and stolen bases (20) … Smacked eight home runs with 25 RBIs while hitting .407 with a .562 on-base percentage … 2009 MVP of the Futures Game held at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium (Greenville, N.C.) that matched up the top North Carolina and Virginia players … Went 4-for-5 with two home runs, double, triple and seven RBI … Participant in the East Coast Showcase and the Area Code Games during summer of 2008 … Played travel baseball for coach Andy Partin and the Dirtbags … Currently ranked as the No. 9 prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball … Helped Wayne County Post 11 to back-to-back Area I East Championships with a two-year record of 51-14 … In 2007 his squad finished 27-6 and was the state runner-up … Batted a team-best .393 in 2008 and currently holds the team record in career stolen bases (45-for-46) and on-base percentage (.504) … Member of the National Honor Society (2007-08) … Personal: Full name is John Walker Gourley, Jr. but prefers to go by Walker … Born June 28, 1991 in Goldsboro, N.C. … Son of John and Kathy Gourley … Father was member of the Canadian National Team (1979-80) in baseball, played two years at Louisburg College and received two letters at UNC Wilmington (1978-79).
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “Walker really came on late and emerged as one of the top players in North Carolina. He is a tremendous student of the game and has great presence and focus. Walker can play behind the plate as well as any infield position. His versatility and ability should get him on the field early in his Pirate career.”
Jake Harris – LHP – 6-1, 175 – Millbrook HS (Raleigh, N.C.)
Two-sport athlete at Millbrook High School who has earned five letters (3-baseball; 2-football) … Three-year starter under head coach Brad Schrock who has struck out 117 career batters in 117.2 innings, while collecting 10 wins on the mound … Two-time CAP-7 all-conference performer (sophomore and junior) … Led the Wildcats to the 2008 CAP-7 regular season conference championship … As a freshman posted a 2-0 record on the mound with five strikeouts in 8.2 innings of work … Registered three wins, fanned 39 and sported a 2.70 ERA in 52.2 innings as a sophomore … At the plate batted .333 with a .415 on-base percentage … Notched five wins and struck out 73 batters in 56.1 innings as a junior during the Wildcats CAP-7 regular season championship … Took home the teams Top Gun Award … Currently ranked as the No. 30 prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball … Played fall baseball for the North Wake Major Team under Ken Shuey … Posted a 5-1 record in 2008 as a member of the North Raleigh Post 297 team under Chad Smith and Blake Herring, while hitting .390 … Two-time academic all-conference selection (2006-07) … Personal: Full name is Jacob William Harris … Born February 21, 1991 in Raleigh, N.C. … Son of Gary and Susan Harris … Brother Brandon and cousin Scott Greene played baseball for East Carolina under former skipper Keith LeClair.
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “Jake is a polished left-handed pitcher that has outstanding command of three pitches. He comes from a solid baseball background and his ability to pitch should allow him to come in and compete for innings immediately.”
Joseph Hughes – RHP – 6-3, 225 – D.L. McMichael HS (Madison, N.C.)
Three-time letterwinner at D.L. McMichael High School who guided the Phoenix to back-to-back North State 2A Championships … Under head coach Mike Dalton helped the Phoenix to a three-year record of 59-19 … Named North State 2A Player-of-the-Year as a sophomore after posting an 8-1 record on the mound … Also took home team MVP, all-area, all-conference and all-state honors … During junior season batted .400 and helped the Phoenix to a return trip to the state playoffs (third round) … On the hill posted a 9-3 record with three saves, struck out 108 batters in 66.1 innings while sporting an impressive 1.23 ERA … Named North State 2A Pitcher-of-the-Year, while being selected to the all-conference and all-tournament squads … Two-sport athlete (baseball, basketball) … Currently ranked as the No. 22 prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball … Played fall ball at N.C. Baseball Academy under former U.S. Olympian/Major Leaguer Scott Bankhead … Member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club … Personal: Full name is Joseph Carlyle Hughes … Born June 4, 1990 in Greensboro, N.C. … Son of Bob and Millie Hughes.
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “Joseph is a hard throwing right-handed pitcher with a plus slider and good change up. His ability to locate three pitches should allow him to come in and compete for a starting job right away.”
D.J. Jauss – RHP – 6-2, 195 – Roxbury Latin (West Roxbury, MA.)
Seven-time letterwinner (3-baseball, 4-wrestling) that has been named team captain for his senior season by head coach John Lieb … Has helped the Foxes’ to a two-year 23-7 record which included the Independent School League championship during his sophomore season … Posted a 1-1 record with a 1.54 ERA as a sophomore … During junior campaign sported a 1.12 ERA with a 4-3 record on the hill … Played summer and fall baseball for the Hurricanes under the direction of Jeff Petty and Doug Collins … Currently ranked as the No. 5 prospect in Massachusetts by Perfect Game … Six-time National Latin Exam Medal winner … AP Scholar with Honor Award … National Merit Semi-Finalist and Latin Declamation Upper School winner … Personal: Full name is David Patrick Jauss, Jr., but prefers to go by D.J. … Born Sept. 5, 1990 in West Palm Beach, Fla. … Son of David and Billie Jauss … Father just completed his 21st season in professional baseball where he currently serves as the bench coach for the Baltimore Orioles and has worked for Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos … Father also spent six years as a college head coach (Westfield State College and Atlantic Christian College – now Barton College) where he coached current East Carolina skipper Billy Godwin.
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “D.J. is a very polished right-handed pitcher with an outstanding curve ball. The thing that impressed me the most about D.J. during the recruiting process was his high aptitude for pitching and the game of baseball. He has great mound presence, is a tremendous student of the game and is one of the most projectable pitchers I have ever signed.”
Tyler Joyner – LHP – 5-11, 185 – Northern Nash (Rocky Mount, N.C.)
Two-sport athlete that has received four varsity letters (3-baseball, 1-football) … Named team captain as a junior by former Pirate and current Knights head coach Eddie Loesner … Guided the Knights to a three-year 54-25 record which included the 2007 conference title … Selected to Easter All-Tournament, all-area and all-conference teams, as well as a State Games Participant during sophomore and junior seasons … As a freshman posted a 3-2 record with 34 strikeouts and a 1.39 ERA … Recorded double-digit wins (10-2) as a sophomore where he fanned a career-best 128 batters … Named Rocky Mount Telegram’s Area Pitcher-of-the-Year and was an all-state performer … Currently ranked as the No. 8 prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball and No. 233 nationally by Perfect Game… Member of the 2008 Impact Baseball’s Dream Team (N.C.) … Played fall baseball for the Dirtbags under head coach Andy Partin … Received three academic letters (freshman, sophomore and junior) … Personal: Full name is Tyler Alan Joyner, but prefers to go by T.J. … Born Sept. 18, 1990 in Rocky Mount, N.C. … Son of Ricky and Debbie Joyner.
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “In my opinion, Tyler is the best left-handed pitcher in the state of North Carolina and one of the top left-handers in the country. Tyler wanted to be a Pirate and committed to our program well before his junior year. He is a bulldog, a great competitor and should make an immediate impact on our program.”
Nick McBride – RHP – 6-4, 175 – Ragsdale HS (Jamestown, N.C.)
Four-time letterwinner that has been named team captain for his senior season by head coach Donnie Maness … Spent freshman and sophomore season at West Forsyth High School … During sophomore season led West Forsyth to the 2007 CPCC Conference Championship after posting a 20-6 overall record … Region 5 State Game Participant … As a junior posted a 7-2 record on the mound … Lead Ragsdale to a 19-8 overall record, which included the 2008 Guilford County Easter Tournament and NPCC Conference Tournament Championships … Led all of North Carolina High School’s in triples … Named Under Armour Pre-season All-American … Two-time Perfect Game National Showcase Top Prospect … Played fall baseball for the Dirtbags under head coach Andy Partin … Currently ranked as the No. 12 prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball and No. 242 nationally by Perfect Game … Honor Roll recipient and member of National Honor Society … Personal: Full name is Nicolas Lillington McBride, but prefers to go by Nick … Born May 13, 1991 in Winston-Salem, N.C. … Son of Hugh and Susan McBride.
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “Nick has an electric arm. He has a ton of physical upside and has shown an above average fastball and slider. Nick is a leader and will come in and compete for innings immediately.”
Tanner Merritt – RHP – 6-2, 208 – J.H. Rose HS (Greenville, N.C.)
Four-time letterwinner (3-baseball, 1-football) … As a junior lead J.H. Rose to the 2008 Coastal Conference and North Carolina State 4A Championships … Posted a 5-0 record on the mound for the Rampants and head coach Ronald Vincent … Fanned 40 batters in 34 innings, where he allowed just 21 hits, eight earned runs with a 1.65 ERA … Currently ranked as the No. 25 prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball … Region I State Games Participant … Played fall baseball for the Carolina Cubs under direction of Ricky Keith … Member of Post 39 American Legion squad … Personal: Full name is Tanner Evan Merritt … Born Sept. 25, 1991 in Greenville, N.C. … Son of David and Kristy Merritt.
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “Tanner has a very good arm. He possesses outstanding command of his fastball and has shown the ability to get good hitters out with his fastball alone. Growing up in Greenville, it has always been Tanner’s dream to be a Pirate. We are excited about having him join our program and getting another quality home town product.”
Mike Trout – OF – 6-1, 195 – Millville Senior High (Millville, N.J.)
Earned five letters (3-baseball, 2-basketball) at Millville Senior … Helped the Thunderbolt’s to the 2008 conference title under head coach Roy Hallenbeck … Batted .338 (27-for-80) with a home run, 23 RBI and swiped 14 bases as a freshman … During sophomore campaign led the team with a .457 average (37-for-101), hit three home runs, 18 RBI with 19 stolen bases (team leader) … On the mound posted a 7-2 record with one save while fanning 79 batters in 54.1 innings posting a 1.67 ERA … Followed up sophomore season with a .530 batting average (35-for-96) … Led the Thunderbolt’s in home runs (9), RBI (35), hits (35), triples (2) and stolen bases (18) … Posted an 8-2 record with four shutouts, eight complete games, 124 strikeouts in 76 innings with a 1.77 ERA … Named team captain as a junior and senior … Career Numbers: .436 batting average (99-for-227), 76 RBI, 102 runs, swiped 51-of-55 bases, posted a 15-4 record on the mound with one save, fanned 203 batters in 129.3 innings, 12 complete games, five shutouts and a 2.22 ERA … Currently ranked as the No. 1 prospect in New Jersey and No. 33 nationally by Perfect Game … Invited to try-out for the U.S. National squad during summer of senior year … Two-time all-conference player in baseball and basketball … Participant in 2008 Area Code Games and East Coast Showcase … Played travel baseball with the Tri-State Arsenal under Bob Barth … Three-time National Honor Society member, Academic Varsity Letter winner and Leaders Club … Personal: Full name is Michael Nelson Trout … Born Aug. 7, 1991 in Vineland, N.J. … Son of Jeff and Debbie Trout … Father played baseball at the University of Delaware and in the Minnesota Twins organization.
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “Mike is one of the best athletes I have seen on the diamond and will go into his senior year as one of the top outfielders in the country. He has tremendous speed and power and will be a mainstay in the outfield and the top half of our lineup during his tenure as a Pirate.”
John Wooten – INF – 6-4, 200 – Eastern Wayne HS (Goldsboro, N.C.)
Earned three letters (all baseball) under former Pirate and current Warriors head coach James “Jabo” Fulghum that captured the 2008 Eastern Carolina Conference title … Current teammate of 2009 signee Walker Gourley … Earned ECC All-Conference honors three straight years … Helped the Warriors to a 22-8 three-year conference record … Batted .301 as a freshman and .321 during sophomore campaign … Named ECC Player-of-the-Year, all-state and team MVP as a junior after batting .551 and helping the Warriors to a 21-7 overall record … Currently ranked as the No. 15 prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball … Played fall baseball for the Dirtbags under head coach Andy Partin … Member of Post 11 American Legion squad that reached the state playoffs in 2008 under coach Brad Reeves … Personal: Full name John Marvin Wooten … Born Jan. 19, 1991 in Goldsboro, N.C. … Son of Sonny and Joyce Wooten … Father played first base for the Pirates (1975-77) under George Williams and Monte Little before spending time in the Kansas City Royals organization … Mother played tennis at ECU (1975-77) … Brother Graham played for current ECU skipper Billy Godwin at Louisburg College (2003-05).
Coach Godwin’s Comments: “John is one of the best hitters in the state of North Carolina. His abilities have really blossomed over the last year. He is a leader and wants to win every day he puts on a uniform. John is an outstanding defensive first baseman and I can see him hitting in the middle of the Pirate lineup.”