GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina’s 2023 baseball recruiting class has been ranked No. 26 nationally according to a recent release by Collegiate Baseball. The group is also currently listed at No. 25 by Perfect Game.
“Each year, Coach (Jeff) Palumbo, Coach (Austin) Knight and our entire coaching staff work tirelessly to recruit student-athletes who are talented enough to assist us in our goal to compete for a national championship, while at the same time being the right fit for our culture,” 10th-year head coach Cliff Godwin said. “We are excited to develop these players into the best versions of themselves so that they can help us sustain our program’s championship standard.”
Joining the four-time defending American Athletic Conference regular season champions are six infielders (Isaac Armstrong, Kenan Bowman, Chaz Myers, Nick Parham, Parker Thomas and Colby Wallace), four outfielders (Bristol Carter, Chance Hall, Colby Umbarger and Davin Whitaker), two catchers (Walker Barron and Jason Janesko), six right-handed pitchers (Drew Bryan, Jackson DiLorenzo, Michael Irby, Chris Kahler, Jack McDonald and Chandler Williford) and four left-handed pitchers (Corey Costello, Aaron Groller, JD Little and Ethan Norby).
During his nine years at the helm of the program, Godwin, a four-time American Athletic Conference Coach-of-the-Year honoree, has guided ECU to seven NCAA Regional berths (2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 Greenville Regional host), four Super Regional appearances (2022 Greenville Super Regional host), four American Athletic Conference regular season and three AAC Tournament crowns while posting a 351-170-1 (.673) overall record. Under his direction, 13 players have earned All-America status while 18 have been named to NCAA All-Regional Teams. Additionally, 40 student-athletes have garnered all-conference status (25 first-team selections) and 22 players have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams.
East Carolina, which posted a 47-19 record, won the AAC regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Charlottesville Regional finals in 2023, welcomes back 20 players including Second Team All-American RHP Trey Yesavage (Baseball America/D1Baseball/NCBWA/Perfect Game) and eight all-conference honorees in Carter Cunningham (First Team), Jacob Jenkins-Cowart (First Team), Yesavage (First Team), Justin Wilcoxen (Second Team), Jacob Starling (Second Team), Joey Berini (Second Team), Luke Nowak (Second Team) and Zach Root (All-Freshman Team).
Pirate Nation can catch a glimpse of the squad Oct. 15 when it hosts Clemson in a fall exhibition contest. The sides will play two seven-inning games with no break in between. Admission is free of charge and concessions will be available for purchase.
The team will also hold its annual “Meet the Pirates” event following the matchup with the Tigers. Fans will be able to obtain autographs of ECU players and coaches while 2023 AAC Regular Season Champion pennants will also be distributed at no cost.
About East Carolina
- Captured its fourth-straight American Athletic Conference regular season championship in 2023, finishing the campaign with 47 victories – the second most in a single campaign in program history.
- Made its seventh NCAA Regional appearance under head coach Cliff Godwin (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023).
- Reached the regional finals for the fourth straight season (2019, 2021, 2022, 2023).
- Notched its fifth straight 40-win season (2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023).
- Placed a program single-season 11 players on the All-American Athletic Conference Teams (Three First Team, Eight Second Team and One All-Freshman Team).
- Had a student-athlete named American Athletic Conference Player or Pitcher of the Week eight times.
- Set the American Athletic Conference single-season record for runs scored (486), hits (668), walks drawn (317), RBI (445) and batters struck out (663).
- Established the program single season record for walks drawn and batters struck out.
- Posted single season program top-10 marks in runs scored (fifth), RBI (fifth), doubles (fifth/131), hits (sixth), stolen bases (seventh/87), triples (10th/14) and home runs (10th/75).
- Slotted in the Top 30 nationally in 13 statistical categories.
- Ranked in the various Top 25 polls every week of the 2023 season.
- Finished 13th nationally in average attendance (4,402) as well as 14th in total attendance (149,652) – both single-season program records.
- Won 12 of 14 weekend series while recording nine series sweeps, including five in American Athletic Conference play.
- Collected eighth consecutive AAC and ABCA Team Excellence Awards and has posted the highest GPA of any league outfit eight years running.
- Trey Yesavage was named Second Team All-America by four publications (Baseball America, D1Baseball, NCBWA and Perfect Game).