2022 NCAA Tournament Greenville Super Regional Preview

Image credit: Jake Kuchmaner (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

East Carolina

Coach: Cliff Godwin

Postseason history: Seventh super regional appearance (third straight). Seeking first trip to Omaha.

Postseason route: No. 1 seed in Greenville Regional. Went 3-1, defeating Coastal Carolina in regional final.

Scouting report (anonymous report breaks down the Pirates)

“One thing I’ve learned about them since getting in the league is they’re the best team with two strikes. It’s one through nine. They have a lineup that buys in and they run starter’s pitch count up. They’re dynamic. They can hit the long ball, they can bunt you to death, they can slash. In this new age of hitting and scoring runs, the analytics would tell you they give away outs, but they score a lot of runs and that stuff plays better in college. They put pressure on a defense, and they find a way.

“On the mound—our league was like this, the conference pitcher of the year was a reliever—when you look at ECU’s pitching staff, they don’t have bona fide Friday night, first-round pick, but they have guys who can do different things. They can leverage guys in different spots, and it gives them options. It’s not your typical weekend rotation in terms of stuff. They’ve got a ton of experience. They command the fastball as well as any team we played this year.

“Their defense starts in batting practice. You watch a team go about their business in batting practice and they’re about as organized and efficient as it comes. (Associate head coach Jeff) Palumbo does a good job with their infield. It’s not just a feel-good, 45-minute window to hit and get out of there. They’re working like they’re practicing. They’ve got some athletes on the field, they can run down balls and make plays.

Bryson Worrell is an older guy, he has experience on his side. There’s thump in the bat from both sides. He’s strong. You’ve got to make him get out of the zone. That’s something that ECU doesn’t do a ton of. You have to be OK with walking him once in a while. If you come after him enough, he’s going to do some damage.

Carter Spivey just doesn’t beat himself. He comes right at guys downhill, cutter, four-seam, slider. He commands everything, everything seems like it’s down in the zone. He can change eye level and go up with two strikes. It’s a common theme with any good pitching staff and they do it as well as anyone, they command and don’t give you anything over the plate. He has 18 walks in 74 innings and that’s a good start right there.

“You don’t want to take anything away from them and they’re playing well in all three phases. But when you’re playing well, things are going your way on top of swinging the bat well, pitching and playing defense. You can sense they’re hot. You better get a lead early. A hot team like that always feels like they’re going to win.

“It’s a good college baseball environment. What a great stadium. It’s a great venue for college baseball. The stands are right on top of you, they’ve got The Jungle out there in left field. They’re going to give it to you, but they’re baseball fans. They’re in the game and understand the game. They’ll applaud if you make a good play and they appreciate all the team stuff like advancing runners. That makes it cooler.”

Projected lineup:

C: Ben Newton
1B: Josh Moylan
2B: Jacob Starling
3B: Alec Makarewicz
SS: Zach Agnos
LF: Lane Hoover
CF: Bryson Worrell
RF: Jacob Jenkins-Cowart
DH: Justin Wilcoxen
SP: C.J. Mayhue
SP: Josh Grosz
SP: Jake Kuchmaner
RP: Garrett Saylor
RP: Carter Spivey



Coach: David Pierce

Postseason history: 13th super regional appearance and third in the last four full seasons. Seeking 38th trip to the College World Series, resetting its own record for most CWS appearances. 

Postseason route: No. 1 in Austin Regional. Went 3-0, defeating Air Force in regional final. 

Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Longhorns)

“My assistant … he comes in and tells me this after he watches all the preparation for that weekend series. He goes ‘on video and on Synergy, that’s the best hitting team I’ve seen play all year offensively.’ He goes ‘that lineup is so good top to bottom.’ They have an incredible balance of speed and power and ability to hit for average.

“What a difference (Eric Kennedy) makes in the lineup, too, because he puts that world-class speed in front of those two boppers.

“A year ago, I thought (Trey Faltine) he was as good a defenser as I’d seen play the entire season any place in the country, and I was surprised that he had as high an error total this year as he had. He’s got a lot of power, but he’s also got a lot of strikeouts. He’ll chase the slider out of the zone and be undisciplined at times, but he can also make a Derek Jeter play that’s just electric at some time in the game that takes a crucial hit away from somebody.

“I think (Pete Hansen) is a perfect guy that throws strikes as a four-pitch mix guy. He has the ability to throw all four pitches for a strike, and he’s in the zone and around the zone and he doesn’t beat himself.

“(Tristan Stevens’) command wasn’t special when he pitched against us, but I watched last weekend and he was back to commanding his slider again, and he had his fastball located on both sides of the plate. I thought that he had the adrenaline flowing and pitched like the guy they thought he was going to be all year.”

Projected Lineup

C: Silas Ardoin
1B: Ivan Melendez
2B: Murphy Stehly
3B: Skyler Messinger
SS: Trey Faltine
LF: Eric Kennedy
CF: Douglas Hodo III
RF: Dylan Campbell
DH: Austin Todd
SP: Pete Hansen
SP: Lucas Gordon
SP: Travis Sthele
RP:  Aaron Nixon
RP: Tristan Stevens




Friday, Noon ET (ESPN2)
Saturday, Noon ET (ESPN2)
Saturday, TBD (If necessary) 

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