baseball got off to a solid start winning 2 out of 3 against the
University of Maryland on opening weekend. With so much that is
new about this team in 2006, very few players (or coaches for that
matter) can boast any kind of extended relationship with ECU. Of
the nine seniors on the team, five transferred to ECU midway through
their eligibility. One of the few that has been with the Pirates
from the beginning is senior first baseman Adam Witter.
Witter came to the Pirates as a freshman in 2003. Witter was
highly recruited out of Chambersburg High School in Pennsylvania, after
earning all-state and conference MVP honors as a senior. Adam
collected numerous honors at Chambersburg High, equaling the team’s
career home run record with 16, setting the schools mark for career
extra base hits, and finishing second in career RBI. Like many of
the Pirate players Adam is an athlete who happens to like baseball
Witter lettered 3 years on the CHS football team as a wide receiver,
and also played one year of basketball.
his freshman campaign Witter put up solid numbers for the
As a true freshman Witter played in a total of 36 games while starting
32 as a designated hitter. While hitting a modest .252 his first
year, Adam showed signs of brilliance even in his freshman season,
going 5-10, with 5 RBI in a 3 game series versus Southern Miss.
Witter had another big performance in the postseason when he went 2-3
with 3 RBI including a 2-run homer in the Pirates win over Houston in
the Conference USA tournament.
his sophomore season Adam Witter was somewhat lost in the
With Ryan Norwood at first and John Poppert behind the plate, Witter
never got the chance to play consistently, but unselfishly played as
the team’s top utility player. Witter netted a .184 average with
4 homers and 10 RBI, but batted at a .278 clip in a seven game starting
his junior year when Witter emerged as a top player. Adam started
47 games and played in 55, playing mostly at first base, but also
entered the lineup as a designated hitter, and started nine games at
catcher when Jake Smith went down late in the year. Witter had a
career year with personal highs in nearly every statistical category,
including homeruns (7), RBI (33), hits (60), runs scored (37), and
batting average (.328).
Witter enters his senior season as a Conference USA “player to
“Wit” as he is known, earned an even bigger pre-season honor when he
was selected to wear the honorary number “23”, as a Pirate senior is
every year, to honor the legacy of former Pirate head coach Keith
LeClair. “It’s a great honor. I was really good friends
with Brian Cavanaugh last year, and it’s an honor to get it after him,
and obviously for what it’s done”. Adam’s comments, referring to
the success of each of the previous three honorees, who all had
standout years wearing the number 23.
2006, Adam says he can’t wait. “As a senior you feel like you’re
a little more experienced, more battle-field tested, and you expect a
little more respect from the younger players. I think we have a
great team this year, it’s going to be the highlight of my
When I asked him about playing for Coach Godwin, Adam says it has been
an amazing transformation. “It’s much more relaxed, our practices
are more organized, and everyone knows exactly what coach expects from
us. He has a great baseball philosophy, on everything from base
running, to hitting, and pitching. He knows the game. He’s
a proven head coach, and we’re playing for him as much as we are for
As far as the new players, Adam has been impressed.
“Ryan Tousley has proven to be a really good hitter; he’s going to fit
nicely in the middle of our lineup, as well as Jake Dean. I don’t
think he has the arm that Mark Minicozzi had, but is just as good a
fielder, and gives us another strong left handed bat in our
lineup.” I asked him who was the toughest new pitcher he had
faced in practice, and Witter said Josh Dowdy the Freshman out of
Raleigh, Wakefield impressed him the most. “I think Dowdy has
stepped in and proven he can get some good hitters out, he seems to be
a bit more mature for his age.
With so much new about the 2006 Pirates, Adam Witter
will be relied upon for senior leadership and guidance. Though he
is probably the strongest player on the team Witter is more the quiet
type, and leads by example. Conference USA listed him as a player
to watch but Pirate fans already have been. Good luck to Witter
and the Pirates in 2006.