COVID-19 shortened or outright canceled most events on the spring and summer sports schedule. East Carolina University’s baseball team only played 17 games — posting a 13-4 record — before the NCAA announced all spring championships, and the season, would be canceled.

The coronavirus reached further than that, impacting many collegiate baseball summer leagues around the country. Over the last few months, most leagues chose not to play this year in an effort to do their part in limiting the spread and transmission of the virus.

For ECU baseball, those decisions obviously impacted who would be playing summer ball in 2020. Nevertheless, three Pirates will be participating in summer leagues this year, according to an announcement by the university on Thursday.

Carson Whisenhunt will play for the High Point-Thomasville HiToms while Bryson Worrell is set to play for the Wilmington Sharks, both of the Coastal Plain League. Alec Makarewicz, a Flordia native, will play for the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs of the Florida Collegiate Summer League.

Whisenhunt, who collected only seven at-bats and made one appearance on the mound for the Pirates as a freshman, will be the first ECU player in action when the HiToms take on the Catawba Valley Stars tomorrow night at 7 at Finch Field in Thomasville, North Carolina.

Worrell was well on his way to a breakout season at the plate in 2020 before things were cut short. The junior started all 17 games for the Pirates and slashed .373/.465/.729 with a team-best five home runs and 14 RBI. With just another week of action, Worrell likely would have surpassed many of his statistical career-highs, but he will have to settle for attempting that in 2021.

In the meantime, Worrell, who is from Sims, North Carolina, will suit up for the Sharks who begin their season on July 3. Like the HiTom’s, Wilmington plays through mid-August while the team’s currently have 28 and 21 home games scheduled, respectively.

Coastal Plain League games will be restricted to 50% capacity in accordance with state and local guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Makarewicz, who, like Whisenhunt was a freshman in 2020, will begin his first summer of collegiate baseball on June 29 against the Leesburg Lightening. The Dawgs’ first home game is scheduled for July 2 at Historcic Sanford Memorial Stadium in Sanford, Florida.

The Dawgs are only slated to play 15 games this summer, with the season ending in mid-July. Up to 50% capacity will be allowed at Florida Collegiate Summer League games, according to the league’s website.

If you are unable to attend games in-person, you can follow the three Pirates’ season statistics here.

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