When you think of signature come from behind wins in East Carolina baseball history, Pirate fans will always bring up the 10-9 victory over South Carolina in the Greenville Regional Final on June 1, 2009. But in 2011, the most exciting game of the year was undoubtedly the series opener at Houston on April 21, where the Pirates topped the Cougars 5-4 in 12 innings.
December 2011 Archives
One of East Carolina's top pitching performances of the season came against No. 19 Southern Miss at the 2011 Conference USA Baseball Championships in Pearl, Miss. Senior Seth Maness (9-3) tossed his sixth career complete game (fourth of the season) in a two-hit shutout against the Golden Eagles.
While the 2011 Pirates recorded 12 wins in their final at bat (seven walk off victories), one of the most memorable of the season came against Marshall on May 6 at Appalachian Power Park in game one of the three game series in Charleston, W. Va.
The Conference USA Baseball Tournament found a new home in 2011 as the four-day event was moved to a stationary site in Pearl, Miss., at Trustmark Park, home of the Mississippi Braves. All three of ECU's games in the eight-team event were exciting as the Pirates posted a 2-1 record and narrowly missed playing in the championship game.
When looking back on the 2011 season, the one thing that stands out is just how dominate the pitching staff was for the Pirates. Under the direction of first year pitching coach Dan Roszel, the Pirates posted the seventh lowest ERA in the country (2.27) and had three hurlers rank in the Top 54 nationally in ERA.
Every year before the start of the baseball season, one player is chosen at the annual "Meet the Pirates" fan session to wear East Carolina's honorary No. 23 jersey and on Feb. 5, senior Austin Homan became the first two-time recipient and eighth Pirate to wear the honorary No. 23 jersey.
Junior Kevin Brandt rebounded from subpar season in 2010 posting a 7-3 record (second-most wins) with 63 strikeouts to 27 walks in 91.2 innings and boasting a 2.26 ERA, which ranked third in Conference USA. He struck out at least five batters in six of his 19 appearances and against Rutgers on March 20, fanned a career-best 12 batters securing a season sweep with a 6-0 shutout win over Scarlet Knights.
Over the last two seasons, Zach Wright has led the Pirates in home runs belting 30 during his three-year career, which includes four grand slams. While he ranks among the all-time leaders in school history in both categories, Wright seems to have a knack for hitting home runs when the game is on the line.
The series between ECU and UNC Wilmington is one that dates back to 1965 when the Pirates topped the Seahawks 5-1. The former Coastal Athletic Association foes have played 125 times heading into the 2012 season, with the Pirates owning an all-time series record of 71-54.
Heading into the New Year, we will countdown the Top 11 moments of the 2011 Baseball season. The Pirates (41-21) posted their fourth 40-win season and advanced to their third NCAA Regional Final under head coach Billy Godwin, eventually following to College World Series participant and overall No. 1 seed Virginia.
The East Carolina baseball team completed its Annual Fire of Blackbeard Challenge last week as the 2011 fall practice schedule came to an end, with Bryan Bass, Jake Harris, DeShorn Lake, Jake Reinheimer, Dario Santangelo, Andy Smithmyer, Corey Thompson and Timothy Younger guiding team Red to the Seventh Annual Title. For Bass (2010) and Thompson (2009) it is the second time they have been on the winning team.