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Senior ECU pitcher facing assault charges

An ECU pitcher is facing assault charges, becoming the second player on the school's baseball team to get in trouble in less than a week.

Senior pitcher Tyler Joyner was charged with assault, said Malcolm Gray, who works in athletic media relations at ECU. A source told NewsChannel 12 that Joyner got into a fight at a party, and that the other person in the altercation was filing charges. Head coach Billy Goodwin was getting more information on the case.

The 22-year-old Joyner was expected to miss the upcoming season anyways, because of a shoulder injury that he suffered during pitching.

The 5'10'', 190-pound left-handed pitcher appeared in 17 games last season, posting a 6-2 record with a 3.01 earned run average. Joyner struck out 68 batters to just 12 walks, ranking 18th nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.67).

Joyner was originally from Rocky Mount and graduated Northern Nash High School.

On Friday, Jan. 18, the ECU Pirates announced that junior right-handed pitcher Tanner Merritt was suspended from the team, for a violation of policy. Coach Goodwin did not explain what exactly Merritt had done.

Merritt, a 6'2'', 211-pound J.H. Rose graduate, appeared in 25 games last season and posted a 2.91 earned run average. He finished the season 3-6 and recorded eight saves for the Pirates.

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