GREENVILLE (WNCT) – East Carolina senior Evan Kruczynski has come light years since his freshman season.

That first year the Pirate lefthander threw just one inning. He had an earned run average of 18.

Fast-forward to 2017, and “Kruz” is set to make his 3rd consecutive opening day start for East Carolina.

His first career start came against a Virginia team that had just lost to Vanderbilt in the College World Series National Championship series. He pitched well that day, and has been the Pirate ace ever since.

He reflected on that first start as he prepared for the new season.

“Like I said last year I am in a much better place than I was in the UVA start,” said Kruczynski. “The whole team is ready to go. We’re going to come out and execute what we need next weekend and we’re looking forward to next weekend for sure.”

The Pirates are ranked as high as 6th in the national polls. ECU opens the 2017 season at Ole Miss on Friday at 5pm.