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ECU ready to host Greenville Regional

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 6:37 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – Top seed East Carolina (41-15) will open the 2021 Greenville Regional Friday, June 4 when it plays host to No. 4 seed Norfolk State (25-26) at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. First pitch for the Pirates is scheduled for 12 noon (ET).The Pirates will make their 31st postseason appearance and fifth in the last six years after garnering a No. 13 National seed in this year’s NCAA Baseball Championships. They 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, eight 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).

TEAM QUICK HITS (as of June 3)

  • Mustache March has come to an end, but East Carolina, Memphis and Michigan’s baseball teams reached their goal of $10,000 to help #StrikeOutALS. Fans can still donate by clicking here!
  • 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 17 of the last 22 seasons, including five of six under Godwin (2015, ’16, ’18, ’19, ’21) - no post-season in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The duo of Norby (97) and Francisco (84) have combined for 181 hits and leads the nation as the best one-two punch in the top of the batting order.
  • Heading into this weeks action, ECU has been ranked or received votes in at least one national poll for 58-straight weeks (began in 2018 preseason).
  • Twice this season the Pirates were a consensus Top 10 team (March 15 and March 22) and have been ranked in the Top 15 in eight of 12 weekly rankings during the regular season.
  • 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).
  • Heading into regional play, ECU ranks among the national leaders (Top 25) in nine categories including hits (10th/566), win percentage (11th/73.2), sac bunts (13th/39), K to BB ratio (19th/3.02), home runs (20th/73), Ks per 9 IP (20th/10.4), batting average (21th/.302), WHIP (24th/1.27) and slugging percentage (25th/.474).
  • This season the Pirates have fanned 571 batters in 56 games (10.4 kpg) and last year averaged 10.1 per contest (171 Ks in 17 games).
  • 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.

INDIVIDUAL QUICK HITS (as of June 3)

  • Seventh-year head coach Cliff Godwin stands third on ECU’s all-time wins list with 255 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.
  • Freshman Carson Whisenhunt Owns a 6-1 record in 11 starts with a 3.52 ERA ... Struck out 72 while walking 18 in 53.2 innings ... Named AAC Pitcher-of-the-Week (March 15) and is a two-time AAC Honor Roll member ... Became the first pitcher since Brooks Jernigan (1998) to record double-digit strikeouts in consecutive games ... Named a Collegiate Baseball National Player-of-the-Week on Feb. 22 and picked up NCBWA National Pitcher-of-the-Month accolades on March 3.
  • Junior Gavin Williams was named AAC Pitcher-of-the-Year and was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection ... Earned Collegiate Baseball First-Team All-America honors (June 3) ... Named semifinalist for Dick Howser Awards ... Earned consecutive AAC Pitcher-of-the-Week honors (March 29, April 5) ... Since moving into a starters role, he has allowed nine runs (nine earned) over 59.1 innings ... He has 97 strikeouts to 15 walks ... Fanned 10-plus batters in five of those starts and sports a 10-0 record with a 1.21 ERA ... Ranks among Top 10 in ERA (4th/1.32), Ks per 9 innings (6th/14.29) and wins (5th/10) ... Leads the team with seven quality starts.
  • Tyler Smith, a fifth-year senior, 20-6 career record in 75 appearances (43 starts) ... A 2018 all-conference performer, owns sports a 76.9 career win percentage with one save ... Tallied seven career quality starts and combined on five career shutouts.
  • Seth Caddell ranks second on the team in home runs (13) and RBI (45).
  • Connor Norby named AAC Player-of-the-Year and was a first-team all-conference selection ... Earned Collegiate Baseball Second-Team All-America honors (June 3) ... Named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Award ... Enters regional play first nationally in hits (97) and total bases (157), while also ranking among the leaders in hits per game (6th/1.73), batting average (7th/.424) and runs (17th/60) ... Had 56-game on-base streak snapped at USF (May 21), which was the longest in the nation at the time (also ECU school record) ... Named AAC Player-of-the-Week (March 15) and is a two-time AAC Honor Roll selection ... Collected at least one hit in 49 of 56 games this season, which includes a 20-game hit streak ... Named to Golden Spikes Midseason Watch List (April 14).
  • C.J. Mayhue has eight saves on the season which is tied for the league lead and ranks 35th nationally ... Earned a pair of saves at Cincinnati in the Saturday and Sunday games ... Owns a 3-1 record in 30 outings (10th nationally) with 72 strikeouts to 18 walks in 46.1 innings ... Named to NCBWA Midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List (April 28).
  • Thomas Francisco earned second-team All-AAC honors ... Ranks sixth nationally in hits (84) and 17th in runs (60) ... Currently hitting at a .368 clip which is second in The American behind Norby ... Had 31-game on-base streak snapped at WSU ... Nine of his career-high 12 home runs have come against AAC opponents ... Hit two runs in a game twice this season (Illinois State/March 19, Tulane/May 9).
  • Seniors Matt Bridges and Cam Colmore return for their sixth year ... Combined, they have appeared in 177 games, with a 18-5 record, 12 saves with 252 Ks and 97 BBs in 239.1 IPs ... Colmore earned second-team All-AAC honors as a reliever ... Was named AAC Pitcher-of-the-Week on May 10.

PROBABLE STARTERS (2021 stats)

Friday: (LH) James Deloatch (7-2, 2.58 ERA) vs. (LH) Carson Whisenhunt (6-1, 3.52 ERA)

GODWIN AT A GLANCE

Cliff Godwin, who was named the 16th head coach in school history on June 25, 2014, was a four-year letterwinner for the Pirates from 1998-2001 … He has been a part of 12 NCAA Regional and two College World Series teams at the Division I level as an assistant coach and head coach … During his seven years at the helm of the program, Godwin has guided ECU to five NCAA Regional berths (2018, 2019 and 2021 Greenville Regional host), two Super Regional appearances, the 2019 and 2021 American Athletic Conference Regular season titles, a pair of AAC Tournament crowns and a 255-128-1 (.665) overall record … Twelve players have earned All-America status, while 10 were NCAA All-Regional selections, 23 were named all-conference (18 first-teamers) and 14 were drafted by Major League Baseball teams … A three-time AAC Coach-of-the-Year selection (2015, 2019, 2021), Godwin was inducted into the George Whitfield Hall of Fame in January of 2016 … In 2018, he completed a summer stint on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team staff that posted a 12-3 record that included series wins over Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba … As a player, he helped former ECU skipper Keith LeClair’s teams post a 169-76 four-year ledger, including 46-plus wins in each of his final three seasons (46-16 in ’99, 46-18 in ’00 and 47-13 in ’01) … ECU won a pair of CAA Tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Regionals every season from 1999 to 2001 … The Pirates were the top seed in their regional all three years, including a No. 7 national seed in 2001 where they advanced to the Super Regional round before being eliminated by Tennessee.

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