No. 11 ECU Opens AAC Play Thursday

GREENVILLE, N.C. – No. 11 East Carolina (18-5) continues its nine-game home stand when it plays host to American Athletic Conference foe Cincinnati (11-10) in a four-game set starting Thursday afternoon. First pitch is the weekend is set for 4 p.m. (ET) at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The Pirates, who have made 30 NCAA Regional appearances, enters the series having won seven their last 10 games and is ranked in the Top 15 in all six major collegiate polls. ECU 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).


  • 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 49-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 10 categories heading into this weeks action including K-to-BB ratio (14th/3.39), ERA (24th/3.29), home runs (24th/29), hits (29th/219), fielding pct. (30th/.978), stolen bases (32nd/30), sac bunts (33rd/13), slugging pct. (39th/.454), runs (43rd/152) and batting average (49th/.286).
  • This season the Pirates have fanned 254 batters in 23 games (11.0 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 third-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.


  • Seventh-year head coach Cliff Godwin stands third on ECU’s all-time wins list with 232 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 (41), while standing second in IP (27.2) … Named AAC Pitcher-of-the-Week (March 15) and is a two-time AAC Honor Roll member … He has struck out multiple batters in an inning 14 times thus far … 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 AAC Pitcher-of-the-Week honors (March 29) after tossing a career-best six shutout innings and fanned a career-best 11 batters in the Pirates 15-0 win at Elon … Made his first start of the season in the series opener against Illinois State working five innings where he allowed one run and struck out seven … He owns a 2-0 record with a save in five appearances this season with a 0.92 ERA.
  • Dating back to 2020, Jake Kuchmaner has won six of his last 10 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 67 games (35 starts) … Tallied six career quality starts.
  • Seth Caddell leads the team in home runs (nine) and RBI (28) … Nationally he ranks eighth in HRs and 19th 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 30-game on-base streak and a 10-game hitting streak heading into this weekends action … Currently second in the nation in hits (43), first in total bases (73) and seventh in hits per game (1.77).
  • C.J. Mayhue has four saves on the season which stands 21st nationally … Earned his fourth save on Sunday, March 21 working three scoreless innings against Illinois State … On the season he owns a 1-1 record in 13 outings with 35 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 23 games this season 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 143 games, with an 12-4 record, eight saves with 200 Ks in 188.2 IPs.

Thursday: (RH) Zach Segal (1-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. (LH) Carson Whisenhunt (4-0, 2.28 ERA)
Friday: (LH) Dean McCarthy (1-1, 5.58 ERA) vs. (RH) Gavin Williams (2-0, 0.92 ERA)
Saturday-1: (LH) Evan Shawver (2-1, 1.24 ERA) vs. (LH) Jake Kuchmaner (2-1, 4.20 ERA)
Saturday-2: (LH) Garrett Schoenl (1-0, 6.59 ERA) vs. (RH) Tyler Smith (1-1, 4.64 ERA)


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 232-118-1 (.662) 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.