Club Baseball Team receives championship rings
They are big, sparkly and a perfect fit for national champions. The ECU Club Baseball Team received their 2017 national championship rings during a halftime ceremony at the final ECU Men’s Basketball game last month.
“To hear the crowd roar the way it did, it was something special,” said senior catcher and business management major Jake Merzigian.
“It was awesome! It was nice for the school to recognize us. It was good for the guys. I’m glad they got to experience it,” said head coach Ben Fox.
This is the second national championship for the club baseball team. Fox was an assistant coach on that first national championship team.
“Winning it twice makes me want to win it more,” Fox said. “We’ve got some guys from the national championship team that came back (this season) and I want to send them out just like we sent out the seniors from last year.”
Last season’s trip to the National Club Baseball Association World Series was ECU’s fourth in a row. For the players who had come so close the previous three seasons, finally winning it made these rings extra special.
“A lot of hard work man, a lot of hard work,” said star pitcher Tanner Duncan, who is now in the Houston Astros organization. Duncan was also the MVP of the world series. “It’s tough to put into words, it really is. (The ring is) something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
Duncan, a 2017 kinesiology graduate, is in Florida with the Astros in their extended spring training. He hopes to get an assignment soon on where he’ll pitch this season.
“I’m proud to be a part of (ECU Club Baseball),” Duncan said. “It’s an unconventional route that I’ve taken but I wouldn’t change it for anything. The people that I’ve met, the experiences I’ve had – I’m very grateful for and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.”
Centerfielder for the championship team and current ECU MBA student Logan Sutton took the reins when it came to designing the rings. They have a big purple “ECU” written in the middle of a baseball diamond with “National Champions” on the front. Some purple stones dot the rim of the ring. On one side is “Pirates Club Baseball.” Below that is the NCBA World Series logo and “2017.” The other side has the player’s last name above the trophy logo that has their 30-4 record and the player’s number.
“When I gave the guys their rings and saw their expressions and how much they loved it … It was really amazing,” Sutton said.
The ECU Club Baseball Team is a contender once again this season. They are currently on a 10-game winning streak and are ranked number one in the nation. This weekend they are away taking on conference rivals Elon. They will be back home in Greenville April 14 and 15 to host Appalachian State.
“I’m going to put this (ring) aside for a little bit,” Merzigan said. “I’m really excited for this year.”
-by Rich Klindworth, ECU News Services