GREENVILLE, N.C. – 10th-year head coach Cliff Godwin formally announced East Carolina’s 22-man incoming class Friday, a group that features 12 position players and 10 pitchers.
CLICK HERE for bios on the 2024 newcomers
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).
“We are extremely excited to welcome this class of young men to ECU,” Godwin said. “They are very dynamic and high-upside athletes who will be great additions to our P.I.R.A.T.E.S. family not only as baseball players, but also as people. Coach (Jeff) Palumbo, Coach (Austin) Knight and the entire support staff did a phenomenal job of assembling this group. We look forward to putting in a lot of work this fall so our program can continue to thrive at a championship level on and off the field.”
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.
Through Godwin, a two-time Academic All-America selection as a player at ECU, the Pirates have had upwards of 400 student-athletes earn a spot on the East Carolina Director of Athletics Honor Roll (3.0 GPA or higher) while over 150 players have earned AAC All-Academic Team honors – including 35 of 38 members of the 2023 club.
ECU has also earned eight straight AAC and seven consecutive American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Academic Excellence Awards, boasting the highest team GPA of all baseball programs in The American every year since 2015-16. Additionally, five players have earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors since 2016 (Travis Watkins/2016 first team, Charlie Yorgen/2016 third team, Jake Agnos/2019 first team, Alec Burleson/2019 third team and 2020 first team and Matt Bridges/2021 third team). Burleson became the third player in program history to be named a two-time Academic All-America selection joining Godwin and Sam Narron.
In the community, the Pirates have volunteered over 6,000 hours working with programs in the Pitt County area such as the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, Team IMPACT, Riley’s Army, Cypress Glenn Retirement Community Flood Relief, Hurricane Relief, Red Cross, First Born Community Development Center, ACES for Autism, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital.
On July 14, 2022, Godwin agreed to a contract extension that secured his position through the 2029 season.
The newest members of Pirate Nation, as well as the squad’s veterans, began fall classes Monday, Aug. 21, and will engage in a four-week period of conditioning drills and individual workouts until official team practice starts later in the fall. The complete 2023 schedule will be released at a later date.
ECU, 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).