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Weekend Preview: No. 25 East Carolina (11-4) vs. Penn State (3-11)

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After dropping a midweek non-conference matchup against VCU Tuesday night, the Pirates welcome Penn State to Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium for a three-game set.

The Nittany Lions (3-11) will head home after their stay in Greenville after opening the season with 17 consecutive games outside of State College.

Here's more insight into the St. Patrick's Day weekend series...

Series News and Notes

- The two schools have only met once before on the diamond. The contest took place in February of 2006 in the LeClair Classic as ECU knocked off PSU, 4-3.

- ECU is on the heels of an 18-11 setback at the hands of Colonial Athletic Association member VCU. With the game tied at six in the sixth inning, the Rams exploded offensively to grab a 12-6 lead, one they would not relinquish on the way to a victory.

- Zach Wright clubbed his first home run of the season for the Pirates. After a sluggish start for the senior catcher, he has recently hit his stride and raised his batting average to .255. A sixth-round selection in last year's MLB Amateur Draft, Wright now has four extra-base knocks to go along with 9 RBIs.

- Penn State is coming off a 5-4 victory Sunday over East Carolina's Conference USA foe UAB. Nittany Lion freshman Casey Kulina came on for the save with a one-run lead in the ninth, but quickly found himself in a bases loaded, no-out jam. He responded brilliantly by striking out the next three batters to secure the victory.

- This marks Penn State's second trip to the Tar Heel State thus far in 2012. It was swept by UNC Greensboro in February.

- Penn State Leading Hitters:

Steve Snyder - .276, 7 R, 16 H

Jordan Steranka - .356, 21 H, 7 R, 6 XBH, 2 HR, 6 RBIs

Joey DeBernardis - 7 R, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, .344 on-base percentage

Luis Montesinos - .269, 14 H, 7 R, 4 XBH, 4 RBIs ... Enters Friday's game on a six-game hitting streak

- Friday Pitching Probables

Kevin Brandt (ECU) vs. Joe Kurrasch - Brandt is 3-1 and sports an impressive 1.21 ERA while Burrasch counters with a 1-0 ledger and a 2.63 ERA.

- Saturday Pitching Probables

Tyler Joyner (ECU): 3-0, 1.12 ERA  vs. John Walter: 0-3, 5.40 ERA

- Sunday Pitching Probables

Jharel Cotton (ECU): 3-0, 2.53 ERA  vs. Steven Hill: 0-2, 5.61 ERA

Check out the '10th Inning' after each game of the Pirates' matchup against the Nittany Lions as we'll provide more news and notes as ECU heads into next week with a matchup against in-state rival NC State followed by its opening series of Conference USA play next weekend at UCF. If you can't make it to today's game, join Darren Headrick and Dr. Gary Overton as they bring you call on the IMG Pirate Sports Network 1070 AM.


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