ECU alum keeps Astros players healthy and World Series ready

As the Houston Astros clinched a victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a home run happy Game 5 of the World Series on Oct. 29, East Carolina University alumnus Scott Barringer was assessing players from the dugout.

As an assistant athletic trainer for the Astros, it’s Barringer’s job to keep players like outfielder George Springer and second baseman José Altuve healthy and injury-free on the field. With treatments, rehabs and corrective programs, Barringer does everything he can to assuage pains and prevent injuries. Sore shoulders, low back tweaks and elbow issues are common.

ECU alumnus Scott Barringer.

“Baseball is a very very long season and a very repetitive sport. We try to put these guys in the best place possible to be able to go out and play for 162 games — we’re fortunate to be up in the 170s at this point,” he said.

On Sunday, the Astros won 13-12 in a zany game spanning 5 hours, 17 minutes. It’s said to be even greater than the back-and-forth Game 2, which some called one of the craziest World Series games ever. Barringer said it was “a rollercoaster of emotion the entire time. It was definitely one of the wildest games I’ve ever been a part of.”

Barringer worked as an assistant athletic trainer at ECU, where he helped student-athletes from various sports teams. He graduated with a master of science degree in athletic training in 2011 and worked with the minor league teams of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs and Astros before joining the Astro’s MLB outfit this year.

“My time at ECU helped me get my foot in the door in baseball and get me to where I am in my career,” he said.

“We are beyond thrilled to see Scott in the World Series,” ECU Head Athletic Trainer Zac Womack said. “He worked tirelessly to get to where he is and he has certainly earned this amazing opportunity.  It honestly could not of happened to a better athletic trainer or person than Scott.”

The World Series continues Tuesday with Game 6 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Astros are one win away from winning it all.

“I’ll be able to describe it to you when it’s over,” Barringer said of the series experience. “It’s a very humbling and indescribable feeling. It’s pretty surreal.”

Another ECU alumnus, P.J. Mainville ’97, can relate. Mainville is an athletic trainer with the Chicago Cubs, which competed in the World Series last year.