Feb. 17, 2012
|East Carolina vs. Milwaukee
Feb. 17-18, 2012 | 3/Noon (DH) p.m. EST
RADIO: WNCT 1070 AM
|Watch | Live Stats | ECU Notes | UWM Notes | C-USA Notes | Tickets | Gameday Central | Live Chat|
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
East Carolina returns eight players from its everyday lineup from 2011, which equates to roughly 80 percent of its offense ... On the mound, ECU returns four hurlers with 15 or more innings of work, headlined by senior Kevin Brandt (91.2 IP).
The Pirates have garnered a pair of preseason national rankings heading into the season opener (No. 22/Perfect Game and No. 26/College Baseball Lineup).
For the fourth-straight year ECU opens the season at home and the sixth time in the last seven years under head coach Billy Godwin ... In season openers under Godwin, the Pirates own a 3-3 ledger and have opened up with an Horizon League opponent for the second-straight season (Youngstown State in 2011).
East Carolina was picked third in the 2012 Conference USA preseason poll after going 14-10 in league play a season ago, finishing in third.
Stepping onto the diamond are 12 new faces for the Pirates, which consist of junior college transfers Jay Cannon (Brunswick), Jharel Cotton (Miami Dade), Sam King (Eastern Oklahoma State) and Andy Smithmyer (Potomac State), as well as eight true freshmen: John Allen, Tyler Bolton, Dylan Dickens, Ryan Gupton, Jeff Hoffman, DeShorn Lake, David Lucroy and Nick Thompson.
PIRATES TO WATCH
Junior John Wooten enters the 2012 season riding a seven-game hitting streak, which dates back to the start of the 2011 Conference USA Championships ... During his streak he is batting .444 (12-for-27) with two doubles, three runs scored, four multi-hit contests and earned Charlottesville All-Regional Team honors.
Senior Kevin Brandt will make his first opening day start when he toes the rubber Friday afternoon ... A preseason All C-USA selection, Brandt posted a 7-3 record last year sporting a 2.26 ERA with 63 strikeouts to 27 walks in 91.2 innings ... For the second time in the last three years, Brandt led C-USA in runners picked off with nine ... Named Second-Team All C-USA in 2011.
Senior Zach Wright is back for his fourth season behind the plate ... The Goldsboro, N.C. native led the Pirates in home runs (13), runs (47), slugging percentage (.518), total bases (118) and walks (34) ... Two-time Johnny Bench Award Watch List candidate (2010-11) ... Ranked second on the team with five game-winning RBI ... Three of five game-winning hits were home runs during the Pirates final at-bat ... Currently ranks 14th on ECU's all-time home runs list (30).
Senior Corey Thompson joins Brandt and Wright as a preseason All C-USA selection ... Led the Pirates with a .328 average (75-for-229) for the second-straight season ... Earned C-USA All-Tournament Team honors after batting a team-best .467 (7-for-15) with a home run, seven RBI and slugging .733 ... Started 59 of 60 games with 52 starts at the hot corner and seven at first ... Led the Pirates with eight game-winning RBI, two coming against Tulane in the Pirates final at-bat.
This will mark the first time the two teams have met on the diamond. The Pirates have played 11 games against current members of the Horizon League and own a perfect 11-0 record with its most recent win against Youngstown State on Feb. 20, 2011 (10-0) at Clark-LeClair Stadium.