ECU’s Packard named AAC baseball Player of the Year

Alec Burleson was named the league's Rookie Pitcher of the Year while the Pirates earned the AAC's Team Academic Excellence Award

ECU's Bryant Packard led the AAC in hitting and is currently riding a school-record 32-game hitting streak (ECU athletics photo/Rob Goldberg Jr.)

  Bryant Packard, the catalyst for East Carolina’s successful 39-win baseball regular season, has been named the American Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year in a vote of the league’s head coaches.

  Freshman left-hander Alec Burleson was also honored as the AAC’s Rookie Pitcher of the Year while Coach Cliff Godwin’s entire squad earned mention as the winner of the conference’s Academic Excellence Award.

  Packard completed an impressive regular season by leading the AAC in four offensive categories, including a .418 batting average that was enhanced by a school-record 32-game hitting streak and 25 multi-hit games.

  The sophomore outfielder also led the league in hits (79), total bases (135), on-base percentage (.475) and slugging percentage. He finished second in the league with 14 home runs, helping him become a unanimous selection to the All-AAC first team.

  Burleson compiled a 5-1 record and a 2.91 earned run average while pitching in a variety of roles. He ranks in the AAC’s top 10 with four saves and has also made six starts while ringing up 45 strikeouts and adding depth to a pitching staff that ranks second in the league with a 3.27 cumulative ERA.

  Houston’s Aaron Fletcher was named the ACC’s Pitcher of the Year and UConn’s Christian Fedko is the Rookie Position Player of the Year while Houston’s Todd Whitting, who led his team to the regular season conference championship, is Coach of the Year.

  In addition to Packard, three other Pirates were selected to the All-AAC first team. They are starting pitcher Chris Holba, second baseman Brady Lloyd and sophomore DH Spencer Brickhouse. Pitcher Tyler Smith and outfielder Dwanya Williams-Sutton were named to the second team.