ECU announces 2019 baseball schedule

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Twenty-nine home games at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium, including the 16th-Annual Keith LeClair Classic, highlight the 2019 ECU baseball schedule announced Wednesday by fifth-year head coach Cliff Godwin.

The 2019 state features 22 games (7/home, 15/away) against 11 teams that earned a bid to the 2018 NCAA Regionals, 33 against squads with 30-plus wins (30 with 35-plus, four with 40 or more wins) and 16 contests versus nine clubs that finished ranked or received votes in the final national polls.

ECU will play 18 of its first 25 games at Clark-LeClair Stadium including its first American Athletic Conference series with UCF (March 22-24). The Pirates will open their 85th season of play hosting Radford (Feb. 15-17). Other non-conference series include Monmouth (Feb. 22-24) and Marist (March 8-10), while playing a single game versus Air Force (Feb. 25). ECU will welcome to town Utah, Wright State and Western Carolina in the annual LeClair Classic (March 1-3).

“Our 2019 schedule is filled with quality opponents,” Godwin said. “The American Athletic Conference will once again be one of the best baseball conferences in the country. The combination of playing in one of the toughest conferences along with our quality non-conference schedule will prepare us for postseason play. Pirate Nation, let’s make sure to pack Clark-LeClair Stadium and The Jungle!”

ECU will play a pair of road non-conference series at Maryland (March 15-17) and UCLA (April 12-13) as well as single games at Mississippi State (March 5), Ole Miss (March 6), Old Dominion (April 23) and North Carolina (May 8).

After hosting the Knights in American action, ECU will hit the road for consecutive series against USF (March 29-31) and Houston (April 5-7), before hosting Connecticut (April 18-20) and Tulane (April 26-28). Rounding out the Pirates’ league schedule are tilts at Cincinnati (May 4-6) and at Wichita State (May 10-13) before closing the season at home with Memphis (May 16-18).

ECU will square off in non-conference tests with home-and-home series against Campbell, Duke, Elon and UNCW.

Once again, The American Championships will be held at Spectrum Field (May 21-26) in Clearwater, Fla., home of the Clearwater Threshers, which is the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

During his four years at the helm of the program, Godwin has guided ECU to three NCAA Regional berths (2018 Greenville Regional host), a Super Regional appearance, two American Athletic Conference Tournament titles and a 154-91-1 (.628) overall record. Eight players have earned All-America status, seven were NCAA All-Regional selections, 12 were named all-conference (11 first-teamers), while six were drafted by Major League Baseball teams.

The Pirates return 23 letterwinners, including USA Collegiate National Team members Jake Agnos and All-American Bryant Packard, Freshman All-America selections Spencer Brickhouse (2017) and Alec Burleson (2018) as well as 2018 AAC All-Tournament honorees Turner Brown and Jake Kuchmaner. In all, the roster consists of nine freshmen, eight sophomores, 10 juniors and seven seniors.

Also stepping onto the diamond are 10 newcomers, a group that consists of two infielders (Thomas Francisco and Ryder Giles), three outfielders (Lane Hoover, Christian Jayne and Christian Smallwood), a pair of two-way players (Connor Norby and Stephen Wilmer) and three pitchers (Evan Odum, Garrett Saylor and Carter Spivey).