In four of the past six years the East Carolina baseball team has garnered high praise when it comes to its recruiting classes and efforts. With this year's freshmen class (2010-11 signees), there is no shortage of talent as eight of the 12 earned all-state honors and two were selected in the 2010 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft earning them a top-50 recruiting class by Collegiate Baseball.
When the season officially starts on Feb. 18 against Youngstown State, Pirate fans could see as many as three freshmen in the starting lineup with Jack Reinheimer and Drew Reynolds in the infield and Chase McDonald as the designated hitter.
McDonald, a local product from J.H. Rose High School, stands at 6-foot-4, weighs 259 pounds and can absolutely mash a baseball. During his four-years under legendary coach Ronald Vincent, McDonald belted 39 career home runs and helped the Rampants to four consecutive Coastal Conference crowns and the 2008 N.C. State 4A Championship.
Heading into his senior season, McDonald earned preseason Under Armour All-America honors and took home Player-of-the-Week accolades and the Mattingly Hitting Award at the Under Armour Showcase. He was selected to participate in the 2009 East Coast Professional Showcase in Lakeland, Fla. and was ranked as the 13th-best prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball.
ECUPirates.com sat down with the Greenville native for a quick 15 Question segment:
1. What is your nickname: Hoss or Moose
2. Favorite sports hero: Lou Gerhig
3. Favorite non-sports hero: Abraham Lincoln
in history I'd most like to meet (& why): Ted Williams because he is
considered the greatest hitter of all-time
5. Best athlete I've played against (any sport): Yordy Cabrera - 2nd round pick by the Oakland A's in 2010
6. My favorite sports announcer: Bob Costas
7. If I could be a character in a movie or a T.V. show, it would be: Bugs Bunny
8. My favorite toy as a child: Woody Doll from Toy Story
9. Nobody believes me when I tell them: I swim (I actually lettered in swimming two years)
10. My advice to youngsters is: Listen and learn from others who have been successful in your sport
11. Favorite pre-game song: Stand Alone
12. My favorite summer job or part-time job was: Play It Again Sports
13. The job I hated most was: Raking leaves
14. My worst fear is: Spiders
15. People say I look like: Mr. Incredible
Did You Know?
Along with Chase, there are six other players on the 2011 team that earned all-america honors in high school: Shawn Armstrong, Austin Chrismon, Jonathan Holt (honorable mention), Dario Santangelo (honorable mention), Patrick Somers and Zach Woods.