GREENVILLE, N.C. – The ECU baseball team held its first official spring practice under fourth-year head coach Godwin Friday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Under partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the lower-50’s, Godwin and his staff guided the Pirates through a three-hour workout consisting of an intra-squad scrimmage, where ECU hurlers took the mound pitching to live hitters for the first time since the fall Purple-Gold World Series.
Sophomores Trey Benton (Purple) and Jake Agnos (Gold) toed the rubber to start the day each working two innings. Benton tossed a pair of scoreless frames allowing one walk and striking out two, while Agnos allowed one run on a hit with two free passes and a strikeout. Senior Davis Kirkpatrick (Purple) fanned a pair of hitters and issued a walk over his two stanzas, while junior Matt Bridges gave up two runs (one earned) with two punch outs in two innings. Rounding out the day on the mound were freshman Gavin Williams (Purple) and junior Sam Lanier (Gold). Williams surrendered one run on one hit while striking out three in two innings, while Lanier tossed two no-hit frames with three strikeouts.
Junior Dusty Baker (1-for-2, double, walk, run), freshman Alec Burleson (RBI) and junior Dwanya Williams-Sutton (1-for-3, RBI, run) led the Purple squad offensively, while junior Brady Lloyd (1-for-2, RBI double), junior Connor Litton (0-for-1, walk, run) and freshman Bryson Worrell (1-for-2) stood out for Gold.
The Pirates return 20 letterwinners, including 2016 Freshman All-American Williams-Sutton, 2017 Freshman All-American Spencer Brickhouse, 2017 AAC All-Tournament Team selection Agnos, weekend starters Benton and Chris Holba, as well is shortstop Turner Brown.
Also stepping onto the diamond are 15 newcomers, which features eight position players, seven pitchers and one two-way player. The 2017-18 recruiting class, which received a pair of Top 20 national rankings (No. 19/Baseball America, No. 20/D1Baseball) consists of two infielders (Litton and Collin Watt), three outfielders (Chandler Jenkins, Josh Netterville and Jeremy Whitehead), one catcher (Seth Caddell), one utility player (Worrell), one two-way player (Burleson), and seven pitchers (Zach Barnes, Cole Beavin, Austin Covers, Noah Jones, Jake Kuchmaner, Willy Strong and Williams).
The Pirates, who are set to open their 83rd season of intercollegiate baseball on Feb. 16 at home against Western Carolina, won the 1961 NAIA National Championship, have claimed 24 conference titles (13 regular season/11 tournament), made 28 NCAA Regionals and advanced to four Super Regionals (2001, 2004, 2009 and 2016).
Season tickets are officially on sale with packages starting as low as $120. Pirate fans have seven different options to choose from and can purchase their 2018 tickets by utilizing ECU's Online Ticket Center (http://bit.ly/2gJlK0Y) or by contacting the ECU Athletic Ticket Office at (252) 737-4500.