GREENVILLE, N.C. – Thirty-four home games at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium, including the 18th-Annual Keith LeClair Classic, highlight the 2021 East Carolina baseball schedule announced by seventh-year head coach Cliff Godwin Friday.
The 2021 slate features 32 games in The American, home-and-home contests with in-state foes Duke and North Carolina as well as 10 games against teams that posted 10 or more victories in the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic season.
ECU will play 18 of its 24 non-conference games at home, including the Keith LeClair Classic when it welcomes Appalachian State (March 5-7) to Clark-LeClair Stadium for a three-game tilt. The Pirates will open their 87th season of play hosting Rhode Island (Feb. 19-21) and Duke (No. 23) before traveling to Georgia Southern (Feb. 26-28).
“Our players and our staff are super excited to get back on the field to play,” Godwin said. “We know this year will be different and of course present challenges, but we are excited to play baseball – GO PIRATES!”
The Pirates will also play host to Old Dominion (March 3), Charlotte (March 12-14), Illinois State (March 19-21), St. John’s (March 26-28) and North Carolina (March 30). Non-conference road games also include match ups against Duke (March 9), UNCW (March 17) and North Carolina (March 23).
ECU, who won a conference-best 20 games in 2019, will look to defend its American Athletic Conference regular season title when it opens league play hosting Cincinnati (April 1-3) in a four-game series. Other home weekends include Memphis (April 9-11), UCF (April 23-25) and Tulane (May 7-9). The Pirates hit the road for meetings at Houston (April 16-18), Wichita State (April 30-May 2), Cincinnati (May 14-16) and USF (May 20-22).
Once again, The American Championship will be held at Spectrum Field (May 25-30) in Clearwater, Fla., home of the Clearwater Threshers, the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. NCAA Regional (June 4-6) and Super Regional (June 11-14) sites will be determined in May, while the College World Series will be played inside TD Ameritrade Park starting June 18.
A two-time AAC Coach-of-the-Year honoree, Godwin has guided ECU to four NCAA Regional berths (2018 and 2019 Greenville Regional host), two Super Regional appearances, the 2019 AAC regular season title, a pair of AAC Tournament crowns and a 214-113-1 (.654) 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.
The 2020-21 recruiting class, which officially stepped on campus in August, consists of three infielders (Joey Berini, Jacob Starling and Josh Moylan), three outfielders (Garrett Chandler, Ryley Johnson and Trey Truitt), one catcher (Joey Rezek), three two-way players (CJ Boyd, Cam Clonch and Austin St. Laurent) and three pitchers (Danny Beal, Landon Ginn and Josh Grosz).
ECU returns 27 players, including AAC 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.