GREENVILLE, N.C. – No. 9 East Carolina (22-5, 4-0) closes out its nine-game home stand this weekend when it plays host to Memphis (11-15, 1-3) in a four-game set starting Friday afternoon.. First pitch of the weekend is set for 12 Noon (ET), which will be a doubleheader at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Pirates, who have made 30 NCAA Regional appearances, enters the series having won five in a row (14-straight at home) including a series sweep of Cincinnati in the league opening weekend. ECU, which is ranked in the Top 15 in all six major collegiate polls, returns return 27 players from last year’s club including American Athletic All-Conference performers Tyler Smith (2018) and Jake Kuchmaner (2019), as well as Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America selection C.J. Mayhue (2020). In all, the roster consists of 22 freshmen, six sophomores, nine juniors and three seniors.
Also stepping onto the diamond are 12 newcomers in Danny Beal (RHP), Joey Berini (INF), CJ Boyd (1B/RHP), Garrett Chandler (OF), Cam Clonch (OF/1B/RHP), Landon Ginn (RHP), Josh Grosz (RHP), Ryley Johnson (OF), Josh Moylan (1B), Joey Rezek (OF/C), Austin St. Laurent (INF/RHP) and Jacob Starling (INF/OF).
2021 TEAM QUICK HITS
- Mustache March has come to an end, but East Carolina, Memphis and Michigan’s baseball teams reached their goal of $10,000 to help #StrikeOutALS. Fans can still donate by clicking here!
- ECU opened up its 87th season of collegiate baseball (1932-42, 1946-present) with a three-game sweep of Rhode Island (Feb. 19-21).
- The Pirates have made a regional appearance in 16 of the last 21 seasons, including four of five under Godwin (2015, ’16, ’18, ’19) – no post-season in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- Heading into this weeks action, ECU has been ranked or received votes in at least one national poll for 50-straight weeks (began in 2018 preseason).
- The Pirates led the nation (2020) in fielding percentage (.990) and sac bunts (23) … They also finished in the Top 10 in batting average (.317) and hits (183).
- ECU currently ranks among the national leaders (Top 50) in 12 categories heading into this weekends action including Ks per 9 innings (12th/11.1), K-to-BB (13th/3.49), hits (17th/273), batting average (18th/.297), ERA (19th/3.33), home runs (19th/34), shutouts (20th/3), fielding percentage (22nd/.979), slugging percentage (24th/.466), sac bunts (28th/16), runs (31st/190), on-base percentage (48th/.386),
- This season the Pirates have fanned 300 batters in 27 games (11.1 kpg) and last year averaged 10.1 per contest (171 Ks in 17 games).
- ECU has five two-way players on its roster … Dubbed #2WayU by Godwin, the five players are Zach Agnos, Skylar Brooks, Cam Clonch, Ryder Giles and Austin St. Laurent.
- For the fourth-straight week, ECU is a consensus Top 15 team after being ranked in the Top 10 for the last two weeks … Back in 2019, five of the final six weeks leading up to the Super Regional’s, they garnered at Top 10 designation in all six major collegiate baseball polls.
INDIVIDUAL QUICK HITS
- Seventh-year head coach Cliff Godwin stands third on ECU’s all-time wins list with 236 victories … He passed his college coach and ECU Hall of Famer Keith LeClair (212) on March 8, 2020 with a 4-1 win at Charlotte in the series finale.
- Freshman Carson Whisenhunt leads the team in wins (4) and strikeouts (44), while standing second in IP (34.2) … Named AAC Pitcher-of-the-Week (March 15) and is a two-time AAC Honor Roll member … Became the first pitcher since Brooks Jernigan (1998) to record double-digit strikeouts in consecutive games … His 11 punch outs is tied for third all-time among freshman hurlers in a single-game at ECU … Named a Collegiate Baseball National Player-of-the-Week on Feb. 22 and picked up NCBWA National Pitcher-of-the-Month accolades on March 3.
- Junior Gavin Williams earned consecutive AAC Pitcher-of-the-Week honors (March 29, April 5) … Has not allowed a run in 17.0 consecutive innings dating back to March 19 vs. Illnois State (1 run in first) … In his last two starts he has struck out 24 while allowing eight hits and walking four … He owns a 3-0 record with a save in six appearances this season with a 0.68 ERA.
- Dating back to 2020, Jake Kuchmaner has won six of his last 11 starts posting a 6-1 record … In 2019 he tossed the 31st perfect game in NCAA DI history at Maryland on March 17.
- Tyler Smith, a 2018 all-conference performer, owns an 19-4 career record (82.6 win pct. with one save in 68 games (36 starts) … Tallied six career quality starts.
- Seth Caddell leads the team in home runs (nine) & RBI (32) … Nationally he ranks 13th in HRs & 21st in RBI.
- Connor Norby was named AAC Player-of-the-Week (March 15) … He is a two-time AAC Honor Roll selection and currently owns a 34-game on-base streak and a 14-game hitting streak heading into this weekends action … Currently second in the nation in hits (49), third in total bases (80) and 11th in hits per game (1.81).
- C.J. Mayhue has five saves on the season which stands 17th nationally … Earned his fifth in game 2 of doubleheader vs. Cincinnati … Owns a 2-1 record in 15 outings with 42 strikeouts to six walks.
- Thomas Francisco had his 12-game hit streak come to an end in the series finale against Charlotte (ended at 14 games), however he has reached base safely in all 27 games this season (30 going back to 2020) heading into the weekend … Hit a pair of home runs in the Pirates 4-3 extra-inning win vs. Illinois State … Named to AAC Weekly Honor Roll on March 22.
- Seniors Matt Bridges and Cam Colmore return for their sixth year … Combined, they have appeared in 144 games, with a 13-4 record, eight saves with 206 Ks in 191.2 IPs.
PROBABLE STARTERS (2021 stats)
Friday-1: (RH) Jackson Cothren (1-3, 5.91 ERA) vs. (RH) Gavin Williams (3-0, 0.68 ER)
Friday-2: (RH) Blake Wimberley (2-3, 4.15 ERA) vs. (LH) Carson Whisenhunt (4-0, 3.13 ERA)
Saturday: (RH) Lanson Kelley (2-2, 5.14 ERA) vs. (LH) Jake Kuchmaner (2-1, 4.46 ERA)
Sunday: (LH) Chris Durham (2-2, 3.67 ERA) vs. (RH) Tyler Smith (1-1, 3.91 ERA)
GODWIN AT A GLANCE
• Cliff Godwin, who was named the 16th head coach in school history on June 25, 2014, was a four-year letterwinner for the Pirates from 1998-2001 … He has been a part of 11 NCAA Regional and two College World Series teams at the Division I level as an assistant coach and head coach … During his seven years at the helm of the program, Godwin has guided ECU to four NCAA Regional berths (2018 and 2019 Greenville Regional host), two Super Regional appearances, the 2019 American Athletic Conference Regular season title, a pair of AAC Tournament crowns and a 236-118-1 (.666) overall record … Ten players have earned All-America status, while 10 were NCAA All-Regional selections, 16 were named all-conference (15 first-teamers) and 14 were drafted by Major League Baseball teams … A two-time AAC Coach-of-the-Year selection (2015, 2019), Godwin was inducted into the George Whitfield Hall of Fame in January of 2016 … In 2018, he completed a summer stint on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team staff that posted a 12-3 record that included series wins over Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba … As a player, he helped former ECU skipper Keith LeClair’s teams post a 169-76 four-year ledger, including 46-plus wins in each of his final three seasons (46-16 in ’99, 46-18 in ’00 and 47-13 in ’01) … ECU won a pair of CAA Tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Regionals every season from 1999 to 2001 … The Pirates were the top seed in their regional all three years, including a No. 7 national seed in 2001 where they advanced to the Super Regional round before being eliminated by Tennessee.