ECU's Nick Barber elects to forgo 2021 baseball season

Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 12:59 PM EDT
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East Carolina utility player Nick Barber has elected to forgo the 2021 season sixth-year head coach Cliff Godwin announced Monday. Barber, along with fellow classmates Matt Bridges, Cam Colmore and Tyler Smith all had their senior campaigns cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Barber is the lone senior to decide not to return in 2021.

Part of Godwin’s first full recruiting class that stepped on campus in 2017 and garnered a pair of national recruiting awards, Barber had started 52 of 125 games playing all but two positions in the field (pitcher and catcher). He helped the Pirates to 136 wins over his three-plus years, won a pair of American Athletic Conference Championships (2018 tournament and 2019 regular season), hosted consecutive NCAA Regionals in Greenville (2018-19) and advanced to the 2019 Super Regional (Louisville in 2019).

“There is not enough time or paper for me to tell everyone how I feel about Nick Barber (Barbs)” Godwin said. “Words will not do Barbs justice for what he has meant to me and our program. He will walk out of East Carolina with 2018 AAC conference tournament championship, a 2018 regional Host, 2019 AAC regular season championship 20 wins conference record and a 2019 regional championship.

“Not only did he excel on the field, but he excelled in the classroom as well. Barbs graduated from ECU in three years with a business management degree while sporting a 3.81 cumulative GPA. In December of 2020, he will also graduate with an MBA from East Carolina. Barbs was one of those guys who showed up every day and made everyone around him better. Nick was a player, coach, leader, friend and much more to our team. He will be missed by our entire organization, but he will never be forgotten. Nick Barber is the true definition of living the P.I.R.A.T.E.S. culture each and every day! Tip of the cap to my man, Barbs!”

During the 2020 season, Barber had started three of 14 games batting .235 (4-for-17) with a pair of doubles, three RBI and scored five runs helping ECU to a 13-4 record before the season was cut short.

Over the course of his career, Barber tallied 45 hits with 11 going for extra bases including his lone home run against Tulane on April 26th of 2019. He registered a pair of game-winning RBI (at UConn/2017 and Monmouth/2019) each coming on doubles, drove in 24 career runs, scored 41 times drew 23 walks and swiped nine of 10 bases. In the field he sported a .963 fielding percentage with 131 putouts and 155 assists. Barber recorded 15 career sacrifices and helped the Pirates end the 2019 and 2020 seasons as the nations’ leader in total sacrifices, while also finishing first in fielding percentage in 2020.

Off the field, Baber is a six-time ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll selection (Fall 2016-Spring 2019) and three-time American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team member (2017-19) that will leave East Carolina with a pair of degrees in just over four and half years. Barber and his teammates set the baseball academic standard for team GPA with a program-best 3.52 in the Fall of 2017, while claiming four consecutive AAC Team and three American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Excellence Awards.

In the community, Barber and his teammates have amassed over 3000 hours the last four years working with programs in the Pitt County area such as the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, Team IMPACT, Riley’s Army, Cypress Glenn Retirement Community Flood Relief, Hurricane Relief, Red Cross, First Born Community Development Center, ACES for Autism, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital.