The ECU baseball program is certainly no stranger to the NCAA Tournament. This year marks the 24th time that the Pirates have made an NCAA Regional since 1977. The only “rare” thing about this year is the regional will be played at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville.
Friday will be just the second time in stadium history that a regional has been played at Clark-LeClair (the first being in 2009). The Pirates have hosted three regionals in program history. In 2001 the Regional was played at Fleming Stadium in Wilson, N.C. and the same year ECU hosted a super regional in Kinston at Historic Grainger Stadium. The Pirates returned to Kinston to host a regional in 2004.
Of the 24 times that ECU has played in an NCAA Regional, the Pirates have advanced to a Super Regional four times (2001, 2004, 2009 and 2016). ECU has never advanced to College World Series in Omaha.
At practice on Wednesday morning, Pirate head coach Cliff Godwin wanted to stress to fans to not put the weight of programs first trip to Omaha squarely on the shoulders of the 2018 team.
“This is their time,” said Godwin. “It’s the 2018 teams time. It’s not the 99 team, it’s not the 2000, it’s not the 04 it’s their time. They don’t deserve to have all the pressure that everybody wants to put on them about taking East Carolina baseball to Omaha. They deserve to have a lot of support to come out here and win one pitch at a time on Friday night.”
The Pirates will open NCAA Tournament play on Friday night at 7 p.m. against UNCW.