ECU baseball focused on a strong start through hard work as they prepare for 2023 season
“Showing up every day with a bunch of intent and energy.”
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - College baseball season is just around the corner. ECU coming off its first home Super Regional. They would like to get there, and further, this year. Expectations are extremely high for the Pirates again this spring.
“Really refreshing as a head coach when your assistant coaches and players are just showing up every day with a bunch of intent and energy,” says ECU head baseball coach Cliff Godwin, “Executing whatever we throw at them.”
“It starts with coach, and it kind of works its way down with those older guys,” says ECU associate head coach Jeff Palumbo, “They’ve been around the program long enough to understand that when you go about things in the right manner, you treat people with respect, you do it in a selfless way it is going to filter down to the rest of the team.”
Older guys like expected starters Garrett Saylor and preseason conference Pitcher of the Year Carter Spivey both learned to pitch when called upon last year.
“There’s definitely no mindset change going out there it’s still the same doing my job to give my team a chance to win,” says Spivey, “The only difference is you get a week between outings. Get a set routine. Being a reliever you are thrown in the fire whenever you are needed.”
They are leading the way and expected to lead on the mound each week.
“I have been put in every role you can think of. I have the experience. I know what to do in those roles,” says Saylor, “Whenever my name is called, I will go out there and pitch to the best of my ability.”
Pitching by committee was the key to last year. They hope to have better-defined roles this year.
“Having guys that really didn’t have much experience last year going into the spring, having to get thrown into some unique roles is going to help us moving forward into this year,” says ECU pitching coach Austin Knight.
In the outfield, Jacob Jenkins-Cowart is making the move to centerfield.
“Speed was a big thing for me,” says JJC, “Speed and then really arm accuracy in the outfield. Last year wasn’t really a lot of trust with me throwing the ball all over the place.”
He and Lane Hoover will patrol the field in front of “the jungle” together and the chemistry is already growing.
“Bryson was great last year. He was the man. JC, JC is really good, he’s outgoing, outspoke and is pretty loud,” says Hoover, “Our communication will be pretty good, just as good as it was with Bryson last year.”
At the dish Josh Moylan overcame a slump last year to become a key for the pirates 20-game winning streak into the postseason. He has done the work mentally to prepare this offseason.
“Big change of perspective seeing things like have a strike out not seeing it as the end of the world. It happens in baseball,” says Moylan, “To be able to move on from that and go back to business was the biggest change in that mindset look forward to the next opportunity instead of worried about what just happened.”
The players all say they are focused on being better prepared for the season after the slow start for their standards last year.
“The energy has been up. The last few practices have been probably the most fun,” says ECU third baseman Alec Makarewicz, “Coach G talked about it. This team has been having the most fun that he has seen in a while. So yeah, we are ready to go.”
The season opener is just a few weeks away against George Washington. It will be here before we know it. It should be another exciting season here at Clark-LeClair stadium. It could be a historic one.
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