GREENVILLE, N.C. - Senior Timothy Younger will wear East Carolina's honorary No. 23 jersey for the 2012 season according to an announcement made by head coach Billy Godwin during the program's annual "Meet the Pirates" fan session, which was held inside the Murphy Center Saturday afternoon.
The No. 23 jersey, which was the number worn by the late ECU Head Coach Keith LeClair throughout his coaching and playing career, became an honorary number for the Pirate program in 2003.
"Timothy has only been in our program for a year and a half and for him to receive this honor and all it stands for says enough about his character," said Godwin. "He has earned the respect of his teammates, has a tremendous work ethic and pride, leads everyday by example and that embodies what wearing No. 23 is all about."
Younger played in 50 games making 29 starts during his first year with the Pirates after transferring from St. Petersburg College. His impact was felt immediately going 2-for-3 with an RBI in the season opener against Youngstown State where he recorded his first start at second base. The following day, he drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a single down the right field line scoring Philip Clark in a 1-0 victory.
A year ago he batted .250 (20-for-80) with five doubles, 10 RBI and 13 runs scored. Defensively he posted a .954 fielding percentage committing just five errors in 108 chances recording 36 putouts, 67 assists and turning 11 double plays. In all, he tallied five multi-hit games and ranked second on the team with 10 sacrifices (nine bunts). Against in-state rival UNC Wilmington (Apr. 19) he had a career game collecting three hits and driving in a pair of runs in ECU's 17-13 win at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
"This is an unbelievable honor and one that I had never dreamed of when I first stepped on campus back in August of 2010," said Younger. "I've been fortunate to be around Austin (Homan), Brian (Cavanaugh) and the coaching staff that last year and a half and have seen first hand what this award means to them and the Pirate Nation. I can only hope to follow in the footsteps of such great mentors and friends and look forward to carrying on Coach LeClair's legacy."
The number is awarded annually to a deserving player who best displays the hustle, determination and desire that made LeClair a great coach and player.
Younger becomes the seventh senior and ninth Pirate to wear the honorary No. 23 jersey, following Ben Sanderson (2003), Jamie Paige (2004), Brian Cavanaugh (2005), Adam Witter (2006), Chris Powell (2007), Drew Schieber (2008), Brandon Henderson (2009) and two-time winner Austin Homan (2010-11).
LeClair's courageous battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease, has garnered support and admiration throughout the ECU and collegiate baseball community.
The Pirates will open the 2012 season on Feb. 17 when they play host to UW Milwaukee at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. First pitch is schedule for 3 p.m. (ET).