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Tuesday Preview: No. 24 East Carolina vs. UNCW

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Fresh off its third consecutive Conference USA series win, East Carolina returns home for a pair of midweek contests before hitting the road once again, this time for a league set at Rice.

ECU (25-10-1, 8-3-1) hosts UNC Wilmington (20-16) on Tuesday evening while William & Mary makes the trek to Greenville Wednesday.

Here's more insight into Tuesday's contest with the Seahawks...

The Last Time They Met

- On April 3, East Carolina knocked off UNCW, 5-0, behind a strong performance by freshman pitcher Jeff Hoffman. The Latham, N.Y., native struck out seven batters in 6 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball. Jay Cannon paced the Pirates offensively with a two-run single in the third and three RBI total on the night. Corey Thompson and Drew Reynolds each notced two base knocks and scored two runs on the evening.

- Ricky Holden was impressive in relief for the Seahawks, tossing 4 1/3 stanzas of shutout ball. Hunter Ridge and Drew Farber each recorded multi-hit performances for the CAA member school.

Hoffman Named Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Week

- Jeff Hoffman became the fourth pirate - and second pitcher - to garner the league's weekly honor as top hitter or pitcher as the 6-foot-4 flamethrower struck out a career-best 10 batters in eight scoreless frames at Elon last Tuesday. He surrendered just three hits in the contest while walking just one. The Phoenix threatened to take the lead on Hoffman and the Pirates in the eighth, loading the bases with just one out. However, ECU's young hurler struck out a batter and induced an inning-ending groundout to escape the jam and extend his scoreless innings streak to 19. Ironically, Hoffman did not record the win as Elon scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra baseball. East Carolina eventually won the game in 10 stanzas thanks to John Wooten's game-winning sacrifice fly, plating Tim Younger.

- On the season, Hoffman sports a 1-0 record and conference-best 1.51 ERA while also recording a save against nationally-ranked Louisville. In 35 2/3 innings of work, he has yielded 22 hits and eight runs (six earned) while walking seven and striking out 25. He has held opponents to a lowly .175 batting average.

- Coincidentally, Hoffman will start on the mound for the Pirates on Tuesday.

UNCW Leading Hitters

- Thomas Pope: .331 BA, 42 H, 9 2B, 4 3B, 21 RBI, 28 R

- Drew Farber: .311 BA, 32 H, 4 2B, 16 RBI

- Michael Bass: .309 BA, 38 H, 5 2B, 3B, 13 RBI

- Andrew Cain: .307 BA, 42 H, 27 R, 5 2B, 3 HR, 18 RBI

*Other notables for the Seahawks include Tyler Molinaro, who leads the club with nine home runs. Matt Campbell, Bass and Cain have all recorded 10 or more stolen bases.

- UNCW has played very solid ball since its loss to ECU two weeks ago. The 'Hawks have recorded a win against TCU and nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina a week ago. UNCW still sits atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings with an impressive 12-3 record, two games ahead of second-place Hofstra.

First pitch for Tuesday's non-conference tilt is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EST). Continue to check out the '10th Inning' throughout the week for extended coverage of Pirate Baseball.

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