After falling in the NCAA Charlottesville Regional Final to overall top seed Virginia to conclude the 2011 baseball campaign, East Carolina head coach Billy Godwin was faced with rebuilding a depleted pitching staff. The Pirate skipper and his staff had to find a way to cope with losing a stable of arms that produced the nation's seventh-best team earned run average (2.67) last season. The group saw five of its members ink professional contracts this offseason and witnessed the departure of All-American Seth Maness. Suddenly, arms were at a premium.
Fortunately for East Carolina, there is a pitcher pipeline that runs from the United States Virgin Islands to Greenville.
Godwin received an official commitment from right-handed pitcher and St. Thomas native Jharel Cotton in April. A lifelong friend of Cotton and fellow islander DeShorn Lake validated an oral commitment he made with East Carolina in January, electing to turn down a professional contract he was offered after being selected by the Boston Red Sox in this year's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Check out the rest of the feature story on ECUPirates.com.