Fayetteville, N.C. – East Carolina University junior outfielder and former local Terry Sanford High School product Andrew Henrickson will return to Fayetteville as the first signing of the 2017 season for the SwampDogs. Henrickson enters his first season for the ECU Pirates this spring after spending the previous two years at Pitt Community College in Greenville, N.C.
“While I was growing up in Fayetteville, I always imagined myself playing for the SwampDogs,” Henrickson says. “It is a true blessing to be able to come back and play the game I love in front of my family and friends.”
Henrickson was a four-sport athlete at Terry Sanford, playing baseball at the varsity level since his freshman year. He earned nine total letters for the Bulldogs (baseball 4, basketball 2, football 1, soccer 2) and was a Mid South First Team All-Conference selection as a junior. During his junior campaign, he batted .366 with five double and three triples.
As a senior, Henrickson led all of Cumberland County Schools with a .526 batting average and his 41 RBIs were also a county-best. He continued to display his versatility as a stand-out prospect on the mound, posting a 7-0 record with a 1.14 ERA and tallied 84 strikeouts in 55.2 innings of work. He added to his decorated high school career resume as a First Team All-Cape Fear Regional and North Carolina 3A All-State Selection at the conclusion of his senior campaign.
“It is very important to me to represent Fayetteville in a positive light,” Henrickson says. “I can’t tell you how many people in our community have had a hand in getting me to this point. My high school coach Sam Guy, Tommy Eason at Pitt CC and other coaches who have taught me the game have all had major influences on my baseball career. Most importantly, I would not be where I am today without the support I have from my parents.”
Henrickson spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons as a member of National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) power Pitt Community College. He batted for a .356 average with 26 RBIs and stole 15 of 17 bases during his freshman campaign in 2015, helping guide the Bulldogs to a 34-13 record. In his final season at the junior college level, Henrickson hit at a .337 clip with one home run, 26 RBIs, 20 extra base hits, and tallied 10 stolen bases.
“Henrickson is an athletic kid who has range in the outfield and is a very tough out at the plate,” said SwampDogs head coach Matt Hollod. “With only 13 strike outs in 172 at bats at Pitt CC, his patience will allow us the opportunity to capitalize on situations with runners on base this summer. He’s competing for starting CF spot on a very good East Carolina squad this spring and we look for the same from him in Fayetteville.”
He now joins a storied East Carolina baseball program that is coming off one of their most successful seasons in 2016 under third-year head coach Cliff Godwin. The Pirates finished 38-23 overall a year ago and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals, falling just one win short of the program’s first trip to the College World Series.
Henrickson enters the Division I ranks with multiple goals as a student-athlete on and off the field of competition. “Academically, Coach Godwin requires the same high level of performance as he does on the field,” Henrickson says. “My goal is to give my studies top priority because I know my degree is going to affect the rest of my life. Athletically, my goal has always been to outwork my competitors and to be the best teammate I can be.”
Fayetteville SwampDog fans and the surrounding community will have the unique opportunity to witness one of their local products take the field at The Swamp during the 2017 summer season. Henrickson and the ECU Pirates open up their 2017 campaign with a three-game series versus the Ole Miss Rebels beginning this Friday in Oxford, Miss.
Be sure to stay tuned during the remainder of the off-season as we continue to periodically announce our new members of the 2017 Fayetteville SwampDogs!
About the SwampDogs: The Fayetteville SwampDogs enter their 17th season playing in the Coastal Plain League in 2017. The SwampDogs are one of the most successful franchises in the league’s history, making the Petitt Cup Playoffs eight times in the past 11 seasons, reaching the championship round three times. The SwampDogs boast over 100 alumni taken in the draft and have produced seven players who have gone on to play in Major League Baseball including slugger Mark Reynolds and David Aardsma. For more information on the Fayetteville SwampDogs, visit the team website at www.goswampdogs.com and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @GoSwampDogs. Be sure to also like us on Facebook at Fayetteville SwampDogs Baseball. Where baseball is fun!
About the Coastal Plain League: The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 21st season in 2017, the CPL features 15 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 81 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.