After Tuesday night's 6-5 victory over in-state rival No. 11 North Carolina State, No. 25 East Carolina hits the road Wednesday for another contest versus a foe from the Tar Heel State.
The Pirates will take on High Point before traveling to Orlando this weekend for their Conference USA opening series against UCF, which is ranked among the nation's top-20 teams.
NOTE: Due to back-to-back midweek contests, the preview for ECU's tilt against the Panthers will not include totals from the East Carolina vs. N.C. State matchup. The High Point Panthers did not play on Tuesday as their game against Appalachian State was postponed due to inclement weather.
Here's more insight as East Carolina looks to pick up a win at Williard Stadium...
Game News and Notes
- ECU leads the all-time series, 6-2. Its most recent victory came last year at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium - a 5-4 win on Mar. 9 in which Jack Reinheimer delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. Trent Whitehead - who joined the coaching staff as a student assistant this past offseason - scored the decisive run after leading off the final frame with a double.
- The squads split a pair of meetings in 2010 as the Pirates dropped a slugfest, 13-12, Mar. 17 at High Point. John Wooten registered a career-high four knocks and Zach Wright added a two-run blast in the loss. Six days later, ECU posted a 7-5 victory behind a 3-for-3, two-RBI performance from Corey Thompson. Tim Younger posted a personal-best three hits in the triumph.
- High Point is expected to start Ryan Retz on the mound while no probable starter has been announced by East Carolina.
Meet High Point
- The Panthers enter this week's action with a 13-9 record after dropping their first three-game series of 2012 last weekend against Missouri.
- High Point was involved in one of the wildest games of the young college baseball season earlier in the campaign - a 16-15 victory over Wake Forest. After allowing seven runs in the bottom of the first before recording an out, HPU responded by plating six runs of its own in the top of the second, which knotted the score, 7-7. After taking a commanding 16-10 lead into the bottom of the ninth, the Panthers walked five batters and hit another as the Demon Deacons trimmed the deficit to one, 16-15, and had the bases loaded with two outs in the stanza. However, HPU reliever Jaime Schultz struck out the final hitter preserving the win. Remarkably, the Deacs only recorded one base hit during the rally. The game lasted nearly four hours (3:39) and featured 11 pitchers - seven from WFU and four from High Point. Sal Pezzino enjoyed a record day at the plate as he finished 5-for-5 with four RBIs and four runs scored. Designated hitter Ryan Retz collected four hits in six at-bats while driving in a career-best six runs, including a three-run homer in the Panthers' six-run second.
- Junior pitcher Matt Armstead, who played at Louisburg (N.C.) Community College his first two seasons as a collegiate, was a teammate of ECU's Jharel Cotton and Austin Chrismon at Menchville High School in Newport News, Va. The trio helped lead the Monarchs to a 26-2 record in 2009 and the squad was named the nation's No. 1 prep team following the campaign by USA Today.
- Sophomore hurler Mike Petilli and ECU freshman righty Jeff Hoffman are natives of Latham, N.Y., and played at Shaker High School. Hoffman played for the World Yacht Clippers Program - a college development travel team based out of the Northeast. Along with Petilli, High Point roster members Dane McDermott, Jaime Schultz, Brett Miller and John Maloney also suited up for the Clippers.
- Freshman infielder Mike Miedzianowski was selected in the 22nd round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
- The Panthers are one of the nation's most aggressive clubs on the basepaths. They have stolen 35 bases on 47 attempts through 22 games. In comparison, ECU has only mustered 13 swipes in 18 contests. Furthermore, opponents have stolen 38 bags on 47 tries against the Big South Conference member while the Purple and Gold has limited foes to just seven steals.
High Point Batting Leaders
- Sal Pezzino: .367 BA, 18 R, 6 2B, 2 HR, 14 RBIs, 29 H
- Sean Wilson: .333 BA, 20 H, 17 R, 4 2B, 8 SB
- Ryne Rush: .329 BA, 25 H, 4 2B, 3B, 12 RBIs
- Willie Medina: .313 BA, 15 H, 10 RBIs, 5 SB
- Ryan Retz: .307 BA, 27 H, 11 R, 6 2B, HR, 16 RBIs
- Spencer Angelis: .261 BA, 12 H, HR, 12 RBIs
- Devin Bujnovsky: .286 BA, 22 H, team-high 19 R, 5 2B, HR, 11 RBIs
- Dane McDermott: .276 BA, 16 H, 11 R, 5 RBIs, 6 SB
Statistics for East Carolina through last Sunday's games can be found in the Tuesday preview which looks into the Pirates' showdown with No. 11 North Carolina State. Again, totals and records in this entry do not include results from the Mar. 20 contest.
Check out the '10th Inning' Tuesday and Wednesday night as we offer more insight into each midweek matchup as the Conference USA schedule begins Friday.