ECU hosts NCAA Baseball Regional, Pirates take on Evansville today

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – East Carolina University is hosting an NCAA Regional Baseball tournament this weekend, setting the scene for four teams to face off in double elimination.

It’s a big weekend as Greenville hosts Wake Forest, VCU, and Evansville.

ECU is set to face Evansville Friday at 1 p.m. in a sold-out stadium in front of their home crowd. Wake Forest and VCU are slated for the later game at 6 p.m.

“Our fans have been tremendous all year. It will be a little extra juice I’m sure which is awesome,” says ECU Head Coach Cliff Godwin, “and like I posted on social media is get those purple and gold chants going early and often.”

All four teams got out on the field to hit Thursday.

“I mean I’m not a betting man, but if I were to bet, I wouldn’t bet against the Pirates at home,” says ECU outfielder Jacob Jenkins-Cowart, “It’s a whole nother, it’s like we are playing out there with 10 guys. It is surround sound too. There’s no gaps of no sound.”

ECU named Zach Root its starting pitcher for Friday’s game with Evansville.

“The only thing I can compare it to is a game against NC State or UNC when it was packed,” says Root, “But I wholeheartedly believe it is going to be way better than that.”

Root was out for over a month with an injury and said pitching at the conference tournament has him ready to go.

The Pirates say they feel the Clark-LeClair Stadium energy and hope to use this weekend in a true home-field advantage.

“It’s amazing hearing them behind you on a big pitch and it just helps me elevate my game,” says Root.

“I play off the crowd it is something I have always done. I’m very emotional and passionate,” says Jenkins-Cowart, “So, I just have to lock in pitch by pitch but at the end of the day I am playing off the crowd.”