East Carolina pitching to test UTSA’s hot hitters this weekend

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

UTSA, playing its inaugural weekend series as a member of the American Athletic Conference, will face one of the top teams in the nation Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Roadrunner Field.

The Roadrunners (10-11) will host the 10th-ranked East Carolina Pirates (15-4) in a series that promises some intriguing matchups.

For the Pirates, they placed six players on the AAC’s preseason all-conference team, including three pitchers in junior Trey Yesavage, sophomore Zach Root and senior bullpen ace Danny Beal.

Those three players lead a staff that ranks first in the conference in ERA at 3.60. The Roadrunners will counter with the No. 1 squad in batting average.

Paced by Caleb Hill, Mason Lytle and Alex Olivo, UTSA was hitting .302 to lead the American before stroking 14 hits and four homers Tuesday night at Texas State.

Yesavage is rated as one of the top pitchers going into the 2024 draft. UTSA coach Pat Hallmark said Thursday that the 6-foot-4 righthander throws four pitches, including a 93-to-97 mph fastball.

“It’s every bit of 93 to 97 mph,” Hallmark said. “Four pitches. Two different breaking balls. He can throw the righthanders a lot of sliders. He’s going to throw the lefthanders a lot o changeups. He’ll mix in some curveballs to both sides.”

Yesavage, from Boyertown, Pa., could be one of the most highly-regarded prospects that UTSA fans have ever seen.

“He’s the real deal,” Hallmark said. “Everything I read and everything I see, he’s a first-round draft pick. If he stays healthy he’ll probably pitch in the big leagues one day.”

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