Former Marvin Ridge High all-state pitcher Jake Kuchmaner, who won two 3A state championships as a Maverick, has been productive on the field and in the classroom since he enrolled at East Carolina back in 2017.
Last week, the ECU baseball team announced that Kuchmaner was one of 21 male student-athletes to receive the NCAA’s 2021 Spring Postgraduate Scholarship. The scholarship is worth $10,000 and can be used toward any accredited graduate program.
Kuchmaner graduated from ECU in the spring of 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in business management with a minor in psychology. Since arriving to Greenville, Kuchmaner has been a four-time American Athletic Conference All-Academic selection and an eight-time Director of Athletics Honor Roll member.
Kuchmaner has also served as the president of ECU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the past two years. Now that he has finished his undergraduate studies, he plans to pursue a postgraduate degree in kinesiology (exercise and sports science).
“When I think of characteristics for what a student-athlete should be, Jake is what I envision,” said ECU head coach Cliff Godwin. “He has been a leader for us on the field, in the classroom and in the community since the first day he stepped on campus in the fall of 2017. We are excited that Jake will be coming back for another year and working on his postgraduate degree.”
Kuchmaner has had an up-and-down career on the diamond, but the hope is the 2022 season — his last with the team — will be his best yet. The left-handed pitcher appeared in 10 games as a true freshman in 2018, making five starts and posting a 4-0 record and a 4.62 ERA in 25.1 innings. The two-time state champion at Marvin Ridge introduced himself to a national audience in 2019, when he was named a first-team all-conference selection. During his sophomore campaign, Kuchmaner earned consecutive national pitcher of the week awards after carrying a no-hitter into the ninth against Ole Miss and then throwing a perfect game in his next start against Maryland — the first in program history. After going 7-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 2019, Kuchmaner went 4-0 with a 0.60 ERA in four starts before the 2020 season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When he returned to the field in 2021, the lefty struggled to find that same consistency. In 16 appearances (14 starts) in 2021, Kuchmaner was 2-4 with a 5.97 ERA and 45 strikeouts across 57.1 innings. Late in the season, the Pirates moved the left-hander to the bullpen in an attempt to knock him out of his funk.
Kuchmaner will return for his fifth and final season for ECU this spring. Regardless of how he performs in 2022, the former Maverick should be in good shape thanks to his talent in the classroom.