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No. 6 ECU Hosts No. 9 Duke For Top 10 Matchup

GREENVILLE, N.C. – No. 6 East Carolina is set for another marquee midweek test Tuesday evening as No. 9 Duke heads to Greenville and Lewis Field at Clark-LeClair Stadium for the teams’ lone meeting of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
 
As always, Scott Rogers and Dr. Gary Overton will handle the radio broadcast on 94.3 The Game. The contest will also stream live via ESPN+ with Evan Budrovich and Mike Mullis on the call.
 
The Pirates (37-9) took two of three from South Florida at home over the weekend to win their sixth-straight American Athletic Conference series, opening up a three-game lead over UTSA for the league lead in the process. ECU travels to Tulane for a three-game set beginning Friday before hosting Rice to close out the regular season a week later.
 
East Carolina hits the home stretch of the regular season among the national leaders in several categories, most notably third in both earned run average (3.55) and WHIP (1.18), fourth in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (7.20), sixth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.15) and 11th in batting average (.318).
 
Individually, Trey Yesavage paces the country in WHIP (0.80) while slotting second in victories (10), fourth in strikeouts (124) and fewest hits allowed per nine inning (4.70) and sixth in strikeouts per nine innings (14.95). Carter Cunningham is tops in the conference in batting average (.408), slugging percentage (.715), runs scored (60) and OPS (1.215). He also ranks 16th nationally in runs scored, 19th in batting average and 21st in hits (73).
 
ECU has performed admirably in midweek affairs, having won eight straight non-conference contests – including a pair of victories over both NC State and UNCW. The Pirates are also a stout 23-3 inside the friendly confines of Clark-LeClair Stadium with notable wins over North Carolina, NC State and Purdue.
 
Projected Pitching Matchup
LHP Erik Ritchie (1-0, 5.70 ERA, 23.2 IP) vs. LHP Andrew Healy (2-1, 5.19 ERA, 26.0 IP)
 
About Duke
The Blue Devils (32-14) took a break from Atlantic Coast Conference play last weekend and hosted Longwood for a Sunday doubleheader, taking both ends of the twinbill by seven inning run-rule scores of 23-3 and 11-1. Paced by Ben Miller’s 409 batting average, 17 doubles and 12 home runs, Duke is hitting .316 collectively with 99 doubles, eight triples and 85 home runs to go along with 231 walks drawn and 41 stolen bases. The Blue Devil pitching staff sports a 4.24 ERA with 499 strikeouts and 209 walks in 401.1 innings of work. Duke is 9-6 away from home this season.
 
The Duke Series
East Carolina leads the all-time series with Duke 42-14-1 and has won 22 of the last 24 meetings. The Blue Devils got the best of the Pirates early on in 2023, picking up a 9-0 win at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in February. ECU has defeated Duke 15 consecutive times in Greenville.
 
Individual Notables
Head Coach Cliff Godwin: Owns 388 career victories and is second on the East Carolina career coaching wins list … Has been part of 14 NCAA Regional and two College World Series teams at the Division I level as an assistant coach and head coach … Guided ECU to seven NCAA Regional berths (2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 Greenville Regional host), four Super Regional appearances, four-straight American Athletic Conference regular season titles and three AAC Tournament crowns while posting a 351-170-1 (.673) overall record … Under Godwin’s direction, 13 players have earned All-America status, 18 have been NCAA All-Regional selections, 40 have been named all-conference (25 first teamers) and 22 have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams … A four-time AAC Coach-of-the-Year selection (2015, 2019, 2021, 2022), Godwin was inducted into the George Whitfield Hall of Fame in January of 2016 … In 2018, he completed a summer stint on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team staff that posted a 12-3 record that included series wins over Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba … As a player, he helped former ECU skipper Keith LeClair’s teams post a 169-76 four-year ledger, including 46-plus wins in each of his final three seasons (46-16 in ’99, 46-18 in ’00 and 47-13 in ’01) … ECU won a pair of CAA Tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Regionals every season from 1999 to 2001 … The Pirates were the top seed in their regional all three years, including a No. 7 national seed in 2001 where they advanced to the Super Regional round before being eliminated by Tennessee.
 
Danny Beal: Leads the team in appearances (24) … Tossed 3.2 scoreless innings and surrendered just one hit while racking up four strikeouts in the Liberty series, collecting his first win and second save of the campaign Saturday and Sunday respectively … Earned the win in the series finale versus Columbia by tossing 2.1 scoreless relief innings … Collected his third save of the season in the 14-10 victory at UTSA … Credited with the win at NC State with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief … Earned the win in the middle game of the Memphis series, limiting the Tigers to one run and striking out four over a season long 6.0-inning outing … Threw 5.0 innings in relief in the middle game of the South Florida series to grab his fifth win of the year.
Joey Berini: Has started all 46 games at shortstop …  Registered three RBI in the series opener against Columbia … Clubbed his first home run of the season in the series finale at UTSA … Legged out his second career triple and registered a pair of hits in the 7-4 win over UNCW … Logged two hits in the series finale at Florida Atlantic … Hit .545 (6-for-11) with five runs scored, seven RBI and two home runs in the Wichita State series.
Bristol Carter: Has started 37 games in left field and one in center … Provided the walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth in ECU’s 10-9 win over then No. 15 North Carolina that clinched the series in front of a record Clark-LeClair Stadium crowd of 6,017 … Went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a double, a triple and an RBI in the series opener at Liberty … Notched two hits, two runs scored and two RBI in the series opener against Columbia … Went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the 14-10 victory at UTSA … Logged two hits and drove in two runs in the Florida Atlantic series finale … Posted a career-high three RBI in the win over Elon … Produced a pair of multi-hit performances in the Charlotte series … Clubbed a two-run home run in the top of the 13th at William & Mary as part of a three-hit performance … Notched a career-high four hits in the middle game of the Memphis series.
Carter Cunningham: Named the AAC Player of the Week Feb. 26 and April 29 … Leads the American Athletic Conference in batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage and runs scored  … Has started 42 games at first base, three in left field and one in right field … Put together a 19-game hitting streak to start the season … Paces the club in both multi-hit (21) and multi-RBI (16) efforts … Tallied a career-high four hits in the 7-4 win over then No. 15 North Carolina in Fayetteville … Went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, four RBI and two home runs versus Southeastern Louisiana … Collected a career-high five RBI in the series opener at Liberty … Recorded two hits and scored three runs in the victory at UNCW … Exploded for three hits, three runs scored and two RBI at NC State … Turned in a three-hit performance in the Florida Atlantic series finale … Matched career-high marks in at bats (7) and hits (4) in the contest at William & Mary … Logged two hits and three runs scored in the home win over No. 21 NC State … Hit .583 (7-for-12) in the Memphis series with six runs scored, nine RBI, two doubles and three home runs.
Jacob Jenkins-Cowart: Has started all 46 games at right field … Ranks second on the club in both multi-hit (20) and multi-RBI (13) efforts … Named the AAC Player of the Week for the first time in his career on Feb. 19 … Hit .500 (6-for-12) with six runs scored, five RBI, three doubles, two home runs and a pair of stolen bases in the Rider series … Posted at least two hits in every game of the series with then No. 15 North Carolina, rapping out three hits and driving in two runs in Sunday’s 10-9 walkoff victory … Went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, three RBI and a home run at Old Dominion … Logged three hits and drove in three runs against Southeastern Louisiana … Notched two hits and drew two walks in the 12-4 win at NC State …  Registered two hits, three runs scored and three RBI in the win over Old Dominion … Posted three hits and four RBI at William & Mary … Went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI in the Memphis series opener.
Ryley Johnson: Named the AAC Player of the Week for the first time in his career April 15 … Has started 44 games at center field and has hit leadoff in all but two contests … Has reached base safely in every game this season and owns a 19-game hitting streak … Paces the club with 18 stolen bases in 21 attempts … Tallied a pair of multi-hit efforts in the series with then No. 15 North Carolina … Clubbed a pair of home runs and stole three bases in the Columbia series … Scored three runs in the Florida Atlantic series opener … Went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the 5-1 win over Charlotte … Posted three hits and scored four runs at William & Mary … Hit .600 (6-for-10) with three runs scored and four RBI in the Wichita State series … Notched three hits and scored four runs in the home win over No. 21 NC State … Leads the AAC in triples, on base percentage and runs scored … Hit .417 (5-for-12) with six runs scored and four RBI in the Memphis series.
Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman: Tabbed to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List … Paces the squad with five saves … Slots second on the team in strikeouts (77) … Is tied for second on the club in appearances (20) … Has surrendered just three earned runs in his last 36.2 innings of work … Notched a seven strikeouts in three innings at Campbell before tallying seven more in four scoreless innings versus Purdue … Logged 3.1 scoreless frames in the Liberty series, racking up seven strikeouts against one walk and earning his first save of the campaign in the weekend finale … Recorded five strikeouts in two innings at UNCW … Picked up the win in relief at UTSA via 2.2 scoreless innings … Threw three scoreless innings with four strikeouts to notch the victory in the 7-4 win over UNCW … Tallied a win and a save in the UAB series … Allowed just one earned run and registered seven strikeouts over five innings to record two saves in the Florida Atlantic series … Collected a career-high eight strikeouts in a four-inning save versus Charlotte … Struck out six over three innings at William & Mary while allowing just an unearned run.
Ryan McCrystal: Has made 12 starts at catcher and 23 at designated hitter … Registered two hits (including a home run), a run scored and RBI in the series opener at Liberty … Posted multiple hits in four straight games from March 22-26 … Notched three hits in the series opener at UTSA … Logged three hits and scored a pair of runs in the middle game of the Memphis series.
Ethan Norby: Owns a 3-0 record and one save in 14 appearances (seven starts) … Struck out six and did not allow a hit in 4.0 scoreless and hitless innings in the UAB series finale … Became the first Pirate pitcher to register double-digit strikeouts in a relief appearance since Jake Agnos tallied 11 in a 5-4 victory over Western Carolina March 3, 2017 … Collected his first collegiate save in the Wichita State series opener by striking out four over the final 1.1 innings … Allowed just one earned run in 4.1 innings of relief to earn the win over No. 21 NC State.
Zach Root: Tabbed to the Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watchlist … Named the AAC Pitcher of the Week for the first time in his career on Feb. 26 … Collected his first win of the season on the mound in East Carolina’s 7-0 victory over Rider, tossing 4.2 scoreless innings and notching seven strikeouts … Was masterful in the middle contest of the series with then No. 15 North Carolina, throwing a career-best seven scoreless innings while matching his career high in strikeouts (seven) against no walks … Turned in another quality start against Cal State Fullerton, surrendering just one run over seven innings while striking out a career-high 10 batters against one walk … Tossed six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts in a win over Columbia … Limited Charlotte to one run in five innings of work to claim his fifth win of the season against no losses.
Jacob Starling: Has started 34 games at second base … Hit for the cycle in the 10-6 win over No. 21 NC State and finished the game with four RBI … Posted three hits, five runs scored, three RBI and two home runs in the Rider series … Drove in a run and drew two walks at Campbell … Notched a career-high four hits in the 7-4 win over then No. 15 North Carolina in Fayetteville … Logged three RBI in the series finale at Liberty … Went 2-for-3 with two runs scored at UNCW … Registered two hits, two RBI and two runs scored in the win at NC State … Drove in five runs, logging a double and home run in the middle game of the Memphis series …
Justin Wilcoxen: Has started 35 games at catcher and nine at designated hitter … Notched a pair of hits and drove in a run at Campbell … Tallied two hits and an RBI in the 7-4 win over then No. 15 North Carolina in Fayetteville … Registered three hits, three runs scored, two RBI and two home runs versus Southeastern Louisiana – his first career multi-home run effort … Tied his career high with four hits at UNCW … Logged three hits and four RBI in the Columbia series finale … Posted a pair of hits and scored two runs in the win at NC State … Turned in his second career multi-home run effort in the 11-7 win over Wichita State … Notched two hits, including a home run, in the home win over No. 21 NC State … Went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBI, a double and a home run in the Memphis series finale … Tallied two hits, three runs scored and a pair of RBI in the series-opening win over South Florida.
Dixon Williams: Has started 34 games at third base and 11 at second base … Hit .375 (3-for-8) during the Rider series while scoring three runs and compiling four RBI … Has drawn a team-best nine walks … Drove in a pair of runs in the season-opening 16-2 victory … Notched two hits and scored two runs at Campbell … Clubbed his first career home run against Purdue … Tallied a career-high three RBI in the 8-0 win over Columbia … Went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the win at NC State … Went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and three RBI in the run-rule win over Charlotte … Tallied two hits and a pair of RBI in the home win over No. 21 NC State … Hit .615 (8-for-13) with five runs scored in the Memphis series … Logged home runs in four straight games from April 27 to May 5.
Trey Yesavage: Tabbed to the Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List … Selected the NCBWA Dick Howser Trophy National Pitcher of the Week for April … Named the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week April 8th, 15th and 29th … Leads the AAC in earned run average, opposing batting average, strikeouts and wins while checking in as the nationa leader in WHIP…  Has posted eight double-digit strikeout efforts this campaign and five straight … Was dominant in the series opener at then No. 15 North Carolina, giving up just one earned run and striking out 11 batters against one walk in six innings pitched … Went a career-long eight scoreless innings in the win over Purdue, fanning 11 hitters and scattering two hits … Struck out nine over six innings while allowing just one run in the series opener at Liberty … Struck out 10 batters and allowed just one earned run in six innings versus Columbia … Tossed seven scoreless frames and struck out 11 in the series opener at Florida Atlantic … Combined with Jackson DiLorenzo to throw a no hitter in the run-rule victory over Charlotte, striking out 12 batters over six innings … Notched a career-high 15 strikeouts in the series-opening win over Wichita State … Came within one out of throwing a no hitter at Memphis, racking up 12 strikeouts in the 14-0 run-rule victory … Struck out 11 batters against no walks in a seven inning complete-game victory over South Florida.
 
Looking Ahead: East Carolina plays its final road American Athletic Conference series of the regular season May 10-12 versus host Tulane.