Oct. 23, 2013
Maness first Pirate in World
By Sean Ryan
2009, a sophomore at East Carolina frustrated a loaded North
Carolina lineup for five innings in the first game of the Chapel
Hill Super Regional.
Seth Maness (right) and the Pirates didn’t win
that day – the Tar Heels used a couple of bloop hits and a
couple of ECU mistakes on bunt coverages to score seven times in
the sixth inning to chase the right-hander. But it was clear
Maness was a special college pitcher, one who won eight games to
open his career en route to a 9-2 freshman campaign and finished
9-3 after that loss in Chapel Hill. He added two 10-win seasons
to finish his ECU career with a school-record 38 wins (24-5 in
Conference USA) and also set school marks in strikeouts (334),
starts (61) and innings (411.2).
Fast forward three short seasons, and Maness is
the first Pirates player to reach the World Series. After
posting a 14-4 record in six brief Minor League stops, St. Louis
called up their 11th round pick of the 2011 draft. Maness
responded by going 5-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 66 games for the
Carolina coach Billy Godwin (left) remembers encouraging Major
League scouts to take a look at Maness, but not many teams
seemed that interested. Godwin fielded a few questions from
CollegeBaseballInsider.com about his former ace.
1. What led you and your staff to recruit
Seth, and what was he like as a pitcher when he arrived at East
We saw him about five times, and he always won
and didn't get hit hard. He was a very good athlete that had
outstanding command. He arrived on the campus and was the same
guy and just got better.
2. Did you see him as the kind of pitcher who would have such
an immediate impact as a freshman, and could you have envisioned
him leaving East Carolina with the most wins in school history?
His fast ball was mid-to-upper 80s, and we throw all our
pitchers the same amount in the fall. It was after about his
third outing we realized he hadn't given up a run and no one was
getting on. He went on to not give up a run the entire fall. It
seemed after the fall of his freshman year he had a chance to be
3. Seth wasn't blessed with a 95 mph fastball - what was the
secret to his success with the Pirates?
Seth never beat himself. He threw strikes with four pitches,
fielded his position like a shortstop and held the running
game. If you were going to beat him you had to string hits
together, and with his repertoire, that was difficult for teams
4. What did you hear from scouts - what did the like and not
like - during his junior and senior years about his future in
professional ball? What did you think his chances were of
playing in the big leagues?
He was drafted after his junior year by the Marlins as a
summer follow. I think what got their attention – he was a
winner. He pitched at 88-90 during his junior year. He didn't
get a lot of interest. In his senior year, I told several scouts
if you want a great senior sign you need to take Seth. I was his
biggest fan. A few listened, and most did not. I thought he
would do very well in pro ball because of his command and
competitiveness. Once he started sinking his fastball, he became
a guy that moved quickly.
5. Seth is the first Pirates player to play in the World
Series. What does that mean to you and the ECU baseball program?
I am excited for Seth and this is his "time." As a head
coach, I am proud of his success. He is one of the greatest
competitors I have coached. I would like to think we had a hand
in getting him to where he is, but he put up the numbers in the
minor leagues to get this opportunity. Development is a major
focus in our program. If you look closely at the track record we
have during my tenure at East Carolina, we have done a good job
of developing guys that were not high prospects into outstanding
professionals. Michael Wright (Triple-A Orioles), Chris Heston
(Triple-A Giants), Shawn Armstrong (Double-A Indians), Jharel
Cotton (Double-A Dodgers), Kyle Roller (Double-A Yankees), Seth
Simmons (High-A Diamondbacks)…just to name a few of the 15
players we have in the minor leagues.
(photo courtesy of ECU Media