#12 East Carolina Baseball 2017 Preview

East Carolina Pirates
Overall Rank: #12
Conference Rank: #1 American East Carolina Logo
One of the more underrated programs in all of college baseball is East Carolina. The Pirates have a rabid fan base and have always been pretty rock solid. But in 2016 they took things up a notch, winning the Charlottesville Regional and pushing Texas Tech to three games in the Lubbock Super Regional. This breakthrough run has the raised the level of expectations in Greenville heading into the 2017 season and that’s a great thing as East Carolina is primed for another deep postseason run in 2017.
2016: 38-23-1, 15-8-1
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Cliff Godwin
Key Departed Players:
Garrett Brooks, OF, .308 BA, 1 HR, 20 RBI
Parker Lamm, OF, .287 BA, 0 HR, 28 RBI, 12 SB
Jimmy Boyd, P, 101.2 IP, 2.83 ERA, 21 BB, 61 SO
Key Returning Players:
Dwanya Williams-Sutton, OF, .360 BA, 5 HR, 27 RBI
Travis Watkins, C, .326 BA, 7 HR, 44 RBI
Luke Bolka, IF/P, .317 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI
Eric Tyler, IF/C, .306 BA, 5 HR, 36 RBI, 9 SB
Turner Brown, IF, .281 BA, 3 HR, 34 RBI, 9 SB
Charlie Yorgen, IF, .262 BA, 1 HR, 22 RBI
Bryce Harman, IF, .242 BA, 4 HR, 23 RBI
Evan Kruczynski, P, 116.2 IP, 2.01 ERA, 27 BB, 95 SO
Jacob Wolfe, P, 88.1 IP, 2.95 ERA, 32 BB, 57 SO
Joe Ingle, P, 52.2 IP, 3.59 ERA, 40 BB, 75 SO, 12 SV
East Carolina is not going to sneak up on anybody this season, but it should not matter as they bring back a very balanced and experienced team across the board. On the mound, Evan Kruczynski and Jacob Wolfe will anchor the weekend rotation and put the Pirates in a position to win every weekend series. Kruczynski was 8-1 last season with a 2.01 earned run average and had an excellent balance of walks and strikeouts. Jacob Wolfe is another guy that pitches to contact and does a great job of keeping opposing offenses in check by keeping the ball in the ballpark. Wolfe only surrendered four homeruns in 2016. Joe Ingle will lock things down late in games after saving 12 games in 2016. He has that ability to overpower opposing hitters and struck out 75 batters in 52.2 innings of work and opposing hitters only mustered a .196 batting average. Dwayna Williams-Sutton sets the tone for the everyday lineup. Williams-Sutton hit.360 and was a freshman All-American that can do it all at the plate and in the field. Travis Watkins will provide critical leadership behind the plate at catcher and at the plate where he hit seven homeruns and drove in 44 runs last season. Eric Tyler and Turner Brown also hit for a high average and can drive the ball out of the ballpark. They combined for eight homeruns and drove in 70 to go along with 18 stolen bases. If the Pirates stay healthy and the veterans live up to their expectations, this team could be Omaha bound.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament