Baseball Game 2: No. 25 Virginia vs. No. 37 East Carolina
Feb. 14, 2013
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
East Carolina returns five players from its 2012 roster that started at least 40 games, including shortstop Jack Reinheimer who started all 61 contests a year ago ... On the mound sophomore Jeff Hoffman (RHP) leads a young but talented staff that lost all three weekend starters from 2012.
The Pirates garnered a No. 37 preseason ranking by Collegiate Baseball heading into the season opener, while receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) poll.
For the fifth-straight year ECU opens the season at home and the seventh time in the last eight years under head coach Billy Godwin (2008 opened at South Carolina) ... In season openers under Godwin, the Pirates own a 4-3 ledger and have opened up with an ACC opponent three times (Maryland/2006, UVA 2010 & 2012).
East Carolina was picked third in the 2013 Conference USA preseason poll after going 13-10-1 in league play a season ago, finishing in sixth.
Stepping onto the diamond are 12 new faces, which consists of junior college transfers Dylan Brown (Gulf Coast Community), Zach Houchins (Louisburg) and Ryan Williams (West Valley College), as well as nine true freshmen: Garrett Brooks, Joe Brooks, NIck Durazo, Luke Lowery, Kyle Majette, Andrew Schorr, Justin Taylor, Travis Watkins and Hayden White.
PIRATES TO WATCH (stats prior to opening day)
Sophomore RHP Jeff Hoffman will get the nod in the season opener against the Cavaliers ... During his rookie season, Hoffman posted a 3-2 record with a 3.67 ERA ... He struck out 55 batters while walking 21 in 73.2 innings ... Rated as the No. 3 sophomore prospect by Baseball America ... Listed as the 57th best player in college baseball by College Baseball Today ... Freshman All C-USA selection ... C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week (4/16) ... Tossed career-high eight shutout innings with a career-best 10 strikeouts in last outing at Elon (4/10) ... Had 20.2 scoreless inning streak snapped against UNCW (4/17) ... Had scoreless outings vs. No. 10 UNC (4/25) and UNCW (4/3) ... Three starts were against nationally-ranked teams ... Ranked among C-USA leaders in Opp. BA (5th), fewest hits (t6th), fewest walks (t6th) fewest runs (10th) ... Among the NCAA leaders in WHIP (88th/1.10) and Hits per 9 innings (92nd/7.33) ... Cape Cod League All-Star in 2012.
Junior Drew Reynolds (INF/RHP), a two-way threat for the Pirates, was named to the initial NCBWA Stopper-of-the-Year Award Watch List, given to the nation's top collegiate baseball reliever ... Named preseason First-Team All C-USA by the leagues coaches ... Finalist for the 2012 John Olerud Two-Way Player-of-the-Year Award ... Led the team with 10 saves posting a 3-0 record in 21 appearances and sporting a 3.00 ERA ... At the plate, he ranked second on the team with a .330 batting average in 54 games ... Started 48 games as the Pirates designated hitter, where he belted three home runs, drove in 24 and scored 31 runs ... Earned Second-Team All C-USA honors last year and closed out the season ranking among the league leaders in saves (fourth) and batting average (10th).
Alongside Reynolds, fellow classmate Jack Reinheimer was named preseason First-Team All C-USA by the leagues coaches ... Lone Pirate to start all 61 games last season ... Posted a .294 batting average with 36 runs scored ... Second on the team in stolen bases (9) and third in doubles (11), while adding a pair of home runs and 22 RBI ... Belted his first career home run on the first pitch of the season against Milwaukee and three games later smacked his second at Old Dominion.
Senior Jay Cannon (INF) became the 10th recipient of the honorary No. 23 jersey, which was the number worn by the late ECU Head Coach Keith LeClair throughout his coaching and playing career, became an honorary number for the Pirate program in 2003 ... Played in 45 games making 40 starts during his first year with the Pirates after transferring from Brunswick Community College ... A year ago, he batted .308 (44-for-123) with two home runs, seven doubles, 23 RBI and 27 runs scored ... Defensively he posted a .975 fielding percentage committing just two errors in 81 chances with 79 putouts ... In all, he tallied nine multi-hit and six multi-RBI games and posted a career-best eight-game hitting streak from Mar. 3-18 where he batted .384 (10-for-26).
Senior Andy Smithmyer (RHP) will move from the bullpen into the weekend rotation in 2013 ... Made lone start vs. Elon (5/5) working 6.2 scoreless frames allowing four hits with five strikeouts and three walks ... Appeared in 21 games out of the bullpen working 54.1 innings where he allowed 21 runs (13 earned) on 46 hits ... Led team and C-USA with a 1.92 ERA, which also ranks 14th nationally ... Ranked among league leaders in fewest earned runs (1st), fewest runs (t1st), fewest hits (2nd), strikeouts looking (t4th) and Opp. BA (5th) ... Recorded 67 strikeouts to 25 walks in 61.0 innings ... Notched wins against ODU, No. 11 N.C. State, William & Mary, Southern Miss and VMI ... Against the Tribe (4/18) worked 6.0 innings with a season-best 8 Ks ... Also had a seven strikeout performance vs. Tulane (4/27) ... Out of the pen has tossed 3.0 or more innings 10 times and fanned 3-or more 10 times.
SERIES HISTORY (updated)
Saturday's matchup will mark the 43rd game between the two schools with UVA holding a 22-20 all-time advantage ... Prior to the opening game of the three-game series to kickoff the 2013 season, the two nationally-ranked teams last squared off in June of 2011 in the Charlottesville Regional Championship Game, where UVA eliminated ECU from post-season play with a 13-1 victory ... Over the last three seasons, the two clubs have played eight times (four in Greenville, four in Charlottesville) with UVA holding a commanding 6-2 record.