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ECU baseball ready to play after preseason full of hype

ECU opens season Friday at home against Bryant
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 9:32 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - There is just something about opening day baseball. It’s tomorrow for ECU. They host Bryant and despite all the hype the Pirates are focused on making sure they live up to their standards on the field.

“You look across college athletics. Baseball, football, basketball you pick the sport, there’s more upsets than ever before. Now why is that? It’s because social media,” says ECU head coach Cliff Godwin, “Because kids 18-22 year old can not handle reading good stuff about themselves and still having an edge about them.”

Preseason and on paper the Pirates earned All-American honors, national award recognition, and team rankings in the top 15 in the country.

“I can look out there and say we’re talented,” says Godwin, “Look we got a really good team on paper but guess what that will get you... nothing.”

Lots of hype around the program. Coach Godwin says his players are eager to get going.

“If you don’t show up in college baseball these days you are going to lose,” says Godwin, “We just focus on ourselves, make sure our guys are prepared and mentally ready to go. If we can do that we’ll be in good shape.”

“We know when to have fun and when to lock in,” says ECU pitcher C.J. Mayhue, “We always talk about it flipping the switch and when we step in between the lines, it doesn’t matter practice or game, we are locked in on everything we do.”

Over 2000 season tickets have sold. Unlike last year’s opener, fans will make Clark-LeClair Stadium a home field advantage.

“Tuesday night, on a mid-week game, we have 4,000 people in the stands. You don’t really find that many places. It’s a great advantage for us,” says ECU infielder Ryder Giles, “I mean it’s four years later, I mean you lose track of time, but four years later it’s something you don’t want to take for granted because it doesn’t happen everywhere and it’s really special.”

Some big names have moved on. Some freshmen are stepping in. The standard remains the same.

“You just have to keep filling in the roles. Now that means my role is bigger. Younger guys roles are bigger like freshmen or sophomores,” says ECU pitcher Jake Kuchmaner, “Every year you have to step into that new role whether you are ready for it or not. "

ECU face Bryant Friday at 4 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 1 PM in their season opening series in Greenville.

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