Game Day Central: East Carolina and James Madison (Game 3)
Feb. 16, 2014
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
ECU returns 18 letterwinners including Second-Team Louisville Slugger All-American Drew Reynolds and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American David Lucroy. Joining Reynolds (first-team) and Lucroy (second-team/freshman team), who were also All-Conference USA performers in 2013, are Hoffman (second-team/'13), Zach Houchins (second-team/'13) and Travis Watkins (freshman team/'13).
Also stepping onto the diamond are 16 new faces, which consist of five junior college transfers in Hunter Allen (Brunswick CC), James Gray (South Florida State College), Reid Love (St. Johns River State College), Brandon Saunders (Pitt CC) and Ian Townsend (St. Johns River State College)
The Pirates also welcome to campus 11 true freshmen in Luke Bolka, Kirkpatrick, TJ McDonald, Bryce Harman, Evan Kruczynski, Kirk Morgan, Philip Perry, Cameron Snow, Eric Tyler, Jacob Wolfe and Charlie Yorgen.
PIRATES TO WATCH
Hoffman Notes: Named to three Preseason All-America squads (First-Team/Baseball America, First-Team/Perfect Game, Third-Team/Collegiate Baseball) ... Tabbed Conference USA Preseason Pitcher-of-the-Year by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game ... Earned Preseason First-Team All C-USA honors by leagues head coaches, College Sports Madness and Perfect Game ... 2013 Notes:Second-Team All-Conference USA selection ... Midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List (May 2) ... Closed out season with a team-best 11 quality starts ... 13th pitcher in C-USA history to work 9-plus innings in a game (9.2 at TUL) ... Notched league wins against UAB, USM and MAR ... Suffered C-USA losses against HOU (2x), Rice, MEM and UCF ... No decision at TUL ... Worked into the 7th inning in 12 of 15 starts (8th inning 8 times) ... Ranked among the league leaders in IP (109.2/5th) and Ks (84/9th) ... Stood 101st nationally in Ks ... Allowed 3 or fewer runs in 11 starts ... Fanned 5-plus batters 11 times with a season-high nine against ILL and Rice ... Named C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week (4/1) after tossing CG, 1-hit SHO against NCCU (3/29) ... Other wins ILL, St. John's and NCCU.
Lucroy Notes: Named Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American ... Second-Team All-Conference USA and All-Freshman Team selection ... Stated 14 of 15 games ... Led ECU starters in ERA and opp. BA (.194) ... Ranked among league leaders in fewest Hs allowed (49/2nd), fewest ERs allowed (31/t2nd), opp.BA (3rd), ERA (4th) and fewest runs allowed (31/t6th) ... On a national scale ranked 18th in hits per 9 inn (6.1), 22nd in Ks per 9 inn (10.2), 117th in Ks and 133rd in ERA ... Recorded first C-USA win at UAB (4/20) giving up one run in 6.1 IP with six strikeouts ... Allowed 2 runs against Rice in 7.0 IP ... Posted additional wins against St. John's (3/3), Monmouth (3/10) and JU (3/17) ... Named C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week (3/11) after tossing a 2-hit CG SHO with a career-best 12 Ks against Monmouth ... Five scoreless innings in first collegiate start vs. NMSU (Feb. 25) allowing 3 Hs with 3 Ks ... Collegiate debut vs. No. 25 UVA ... Struck out 11 at Marshall (5/11) in 5.2 innings ... Fanned 5-plus batters nine times ... Had 7 quality starts.
Bolton Notes: Appeared in a career-best 10 games making 2 starts ... Stuck out 10 while walking six in 14.2 innings ... Allowed 13 runs (12 ER) on 24 hits ... First career start vs. UNCW working career-best 4.0 innings allowing 4 runs (3 ER) with 2 Ks ... Coastal Plain League All-Star starter ... First-Team Post-Season All-Star after posting 5-0 record with 0.87 ERA (2nd in CPL) ... Fanned 49 while walking just 15 in 52.0 innings.
Drew Reynolds has earned plenty of preseason praise heading into the 2014 opener ... Recently he was tabbed Conference USA Co-Player-of-the-Year by the leagues head coaches becoming just the third Pirate since 2002 (ECU's first year in C-USA) to garner preseason player-of-the-year honors following Darryl Lawhorn (2004) and Seth Maness (2009) ... The Pirates top utility player the last two seasons, Reynolds earned Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger Second-Team All-America and First-Team All-Conference USA honors a year ago after leading ECU with a .322 average and 68 hits, while ranking second with 13 doubles and fourth with 30 runs scored ... On the mound the Cherryville, N.C. native posted a 3-2 record with a 2.92 ERA and recorded a league and team-best 14 saves, which also ranked 14th nationally ... Expected to see time at second base and as the closer again in 2014, has garnered preseason All-America honors by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (first-team) and Collegiate Baseball (second-team), as well as first-team all-league accolades by Perfect Game.
ECU Head Coach Billy Godwin enters his 15th career as a college head coach, where he owns a career record of 547-274-1 ... At ECU he is 285-189-1 after eight seasons ... His 285 wins trails only ECU Hall of Famer Dr. Gary Overton, who amassed 427 wins in 13 years (1985-1997) as the Pirates' skipper.