Neither Alec Burleson or Ryan Davis were able to finish their respective campaigns before COVID-19 virtually shut the sports world down. In spite of that, however, both were named All-America selections on Tuesday in their respective sport, Burleson for baseball and Davis for men’s track and field.
Burleson earned his sixth All-America award, receiving the honor from Collegiate Baseball after slashing .375/.440/.547 with three home runs and 12 RBI at the plate. As a pitcher, the left-hander posted a 4.24 ERA across 23.1 innings pitched, striking out 22 batters and walking just eight in the process.
The junior started all 17 games for the Pirates during the abbreviated season. He was named American Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Week on March 9 after hitting .667 during ECU’s series against Charlotte. In three games against the 49ers, Burleson collected nine hits, including a home run and a double.
While he allowed four runs across 5.2 innings in his final start of the shortened 2020 season on March 6, he cruised through his first two outings, allowing just one earned run on eight hits across 15 combined innings.
Perhaps his best start of the year came against Georgia Southern on Feb. 22. Spanning a career-best eight innings, Burleson gave up just two hits while striking out seven and walking none on only 81 pitches in a 3-0 Pirate victory.
According to an ECU release, Burleson becomes just the third Pirate baseball player to receive All-America honors in consecutive seasons, matching Winfred Johnson and Evan Kruczynski. His selection also guarantees the Pirates as having at least one All-American on the roster for eight straight seasons.
With the honor under his belt, Burleson will roll into this year’s MLB draft as the 176th-best prospect on Baseball America’s top 500 list. He is joined on that list by his ECU teammate Gavin Williams (No. 81) as well as Pirate commits Koen Moreno (No. 161), Josh Moylan (No. 448) and Robert Ready (No. 484).
On the track and field circuit, Davis was had posted a strong season before the coronavirus kept him from competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Despite that, Davis owned the ninth-best weight throw number in the country at 22.2 meters prior to the event and won the AAC Indoor Championships with a throw of 21.75 meters.
Davis earned the All-America selection from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Due to the national pandemic, the USTFCCCA named all individuals on the starting list for the NCAA Championships All-Americans for the 2020 season.
“Our program is very excited to hear the announcement about Ryan Davis being an All-American,” Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country Curt Kraft said in a release. “Ryan is very deserving of this prestigious award. He has done an excellent job over the last many years of representing our program in a very positive manner. It’s also very exciting to know that Ryan will be with us next year competing for the Pirates once again.”
Davis is the 34th male to earn the honor in program history.