CLEARWATER, Fla. – East Carolina seniors Eric Tyler, Travis Watkins and Charlie Yorgen have been named First-Team All-American Athletic Conference the league announced Monday afternoon. Watkins earned his second all-conference accolade, while Yorgen is the Pirates’ second-ever unanimous pick (other Reid Love in 2015).
With the trio’s selections, the Pirates have had at least one player selected to a first-team for 14-straight year (2004 to present). Since joining The American in 2015, ECU has had seven first-team all-conference members in Love (2015), Luke Lowery (2015), Evan Kruczynski (2016) and Dwanya Williams-Sutton (2016) to go along with this year’s selections.
Tyler, one of three ECU co-captains, was named the league’s first-team selection at third base after a team second-best .342 (78-for-228) with six home runs, 38 RBI and 37 runs. The Landis, N.C. native collected at least one hit in 45 of 56 games this season which included a pair of double-digit hit streaks (12 and 10 games). He set an ECU and AAC record reaching base in 39 consecutive games from March 11 to May 18, while earning league hitter-of-the-week honors May 1. Tyler ranks among the league leaders in hits (third), doubles (t4th/17) and total bases (t7th/113).
Watkins, a two-time All-AAC pick behind the plate, lead the Pirates in eight offensive categories heading into the AAC Championships. He is batting .343 (79-for-230) with nine homers, 43 RBI and has scored 44 runs. The Concord, N.C. native was named one of 15 semifinalists for the 2017 Johnny Bench Award (third time in career) and a CoSIDA All-District 3 selection for his work in the classroom. Heading into Tuesday’s game against UCF, the two-time team captain ranks among the league leaders in hits (second), average (fourth), total bases (fourth/120), runs (t5th), HRs (t6th), RBI (eighth) and slugging percentage (10th/.522).
Yorgen became the Pirates second unanimous selection after earning his second career all-conference honor (other 2014 Conference USA All-Freshman Team) after batting .328 (73-for-216) with four home runs, 34 RBI and 43 runs scored. The Richmond, Va. native earned his first career AAC Hitter-of-the-Week and College Sports Madness Player-of-the-Week honors on April 24 after batting .684 with a home run, five RBI and scored five times during ECU’s 3-1 week, which included a series win at Cincinnati. The 2017 CoSIDA All-District 3 selection ranked among the league leaders in on-base percentage (second/.433), hits (t7th) and average (t8th).
The Pirates (29-17) will open the 2016 American Baseball Championships on Tuesday, May 23 at Spectrum Field against No. 1 seed UCF (38-18) with a 7 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch which will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.