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Evan Kruczynski, Eric Tyler and Travis Watkins named 2017 baseball captains

(WITN)
Published: Nov. 11, 2016 at 4:07 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – Seniors Evan Kruczynski, Eric Tyler and Travis Watkins have been named team captains for the East Carolina baseball team in 2017, according to an announcement by third-year head coach Cliff Godwin Friday afternoon. As voted on by their teammates, Watkins will serve as a captain for the second-straight year.

“In my opinion, the greatest honor you can receive as an ECU baseball player is being voted a captain by your teammates,” Godwin said. “Evan, Eric and Travis each exemplify our P.I.R.A.T.E.S. Mission values both on and off the field. I could not be happier for them because they earned the right to wear a “C” on their jerseys this spring!”

Kruczynski, who earned Third-Team All-America honors from D1Baseball.com, posted an 8-1 record with a 2.01 ERA and struck out 95 batters on his way to winning ECU’s pitching triple crown. In 17 starts he allowed 32 runs (26 earned) on 107 hits while allowing 27 walks earning First-Team All-American Conference accolades. In two NCAA postseason starts, he sported a 2-0 record with a 2.13 ERA allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits with 12 strikeouts in 12.2 innings. One of five Charlottesville All-Regional selections, he became the first Pirate pitcher to register a win in Super Regional action helping ECU to an 8-6 victory over Texas Tech. The left-hander stood among the conference leaders in innings pitched (second), wins (third) and strikeouts (t5th).

Tyler, a three-year letterwinner, batted .391 (9-for-23) in six NCAA postseason games with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored on his way to earning 2016 Charlottesville All-Regional Team honors. On the season he was one of five Pirates to hit over .300 (.306/74-for-242) while ranking second on the club in home runs (five), RBI (36), runs (37). He started all 62 games (62 at third), tallied a team-best 23 multi-hit games which included a pair of four base knock outings against UNC Wilmington and William & Mary, and drove in multiple runs six times with a school-record eight against Jacksonville on March 26.

Watkins, a four-time Johnny Bench Award Watch list candidate, had a career year batting .326 (76-for-233) with seven home runs, 44 RBI, 43 runs scored and 29 walks in 61 starts. He took home 2016 Charlottesville Regional MOP honors after batting .462 (6-for-13) with a five RBI and a pair of home runs, one of which was a walk-off against regional host Virginia – a three-run shot. The red-shirt senior followed his regional play batting .400 (4-for-10) with more home runs and seven RBI against Texas Tech in Super Regional action. Watkins, who tallied 18 multi-hit games, led the club with 12 multi-RBI contests and enters the 2017 season having reached base safely in 12-straight games.

The Pirates will open the 2017 season on Friday, Feb. 17 when they travel to Oxford, Miss. for a three-game series against Ole Miss. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. (EST).