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Recruiting rankings make ECU history

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East Carolina head coach Cliff Godwin on March 31, 2017. (File/The Daily Reflector)

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ECU, staff reports

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

East Carolina baseball’s recent recruiting efforts have hit unprecedented heights, as last year’s No. 23 national ranking was backed up Tuesday when this year’s Pirate recruiting class was ranked No. 19 by Baseball America.

The 16-player group gave ECU nationally-ranked recruiting classes in consecutive years for the first time in school history. The Pirates were also the only team from North Carolina, or the American Athletic Conference, in this year’s Top 25.

This class features the most recent Division II junior college player of the year (outfielder Chandler Jenkins from Catawba Valley CC) and multiple freshmen looking for big roles at ECU, which had nine seniors last season and posted a 32-28 record.

Gavin Williams is a 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher from Cape Fear High School who was a Major League Baseball draft prospect, but ended up signing with the Pirates. He is considered by many as the lead newcomer, along with Jenkins and freshmen catchers Spencer Smith and Seth Caddell.

“(This is) another strong group of newcomers, headlined by Williams and Smith. Williams is big, projectable and has frontline starter upside,” Baseball America wrote about ECU. “He has an easy delivery and has already touched 95 mph, giving some the belief that he could eventually hit 100. His curveball still needs work, but he has made strides with his pitchability.”

Williams is one of nine potential pitchers joining the Pirates, including Noah Jones from D.H. Conley.

“We are excited about the talent, character and competitiveness this group brings to the program,” ECU coach Cliff Godwin said. “This class will continue to represent ECU baseball in a first-class manner on and off the field.”

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