Senior third baseman Corey Thompson
Feb. 20, 2012
East Carolina Pirates (3-0)
Preseason National Rankings: No. 22 (Perfect Game); No. 26 (CollegeBaseballLineup); Receiving Votes (USA Today/Coaches, Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA)
Current Streak: W-3
Last Week: 3-0
Feb. 17 - Win vs. Milwaukee, 4-1
Feb. 18 - Win vs. Milwaukee, 16-1 (Game One)
Feb. 18 - Win vs. Milwaukee, 6-3 (Game Two)
Road vs. Old Dominion (Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.)
Home vs. Purdue (Feb. 24 at 5 p.m.) - Ninth Annual LeClair Classic
Home vs. Western Carolina (Feb. 25 at 3 p.m.) - Ninth Annual LeClair Classic
Home vs. Maryland (Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.) - Ninth Annual LeClair Classic
Tim Younger, Senior, 2B
Younger batted a team-best .667 (6-for-9) during the Pirates perfect 3-0 opening weekend ... The senior second baseman had a pair of multi-hit games, which included a perfect 3-for-3 performance in the series finale against Milwaukee ... In the season opener he reached base three times going 2-for-3 (both singles) and drew a walk ... During ECU's 16-1 win in game one of the Saturday doubleheader, he registered his lone it in his first plate appearance, reaching on an infield single - his second infield hit of the weekend ... In the series finale, he was instrumental in leading ECU's 6-3 come from behind win going 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored ... His two RBI single to left in the bottom of the seventh pulled the Pirates even with the Panthers and he would later score the game-winning run on Corey Thompson's two-RBI double ... In the field he posted a 1.000 fielding percentage recording six putouts and seven assists ... In all, he reached base eight times (6 hits, 2 walks) recording a team-best .727 on-base percentage among starters to go with his .667 slugging percentage.
Kevin Brandt, Senior, LHP
Brandt set the tone for the season opening sweep against Milwaukee tossing 6 2/3 shutout innings allowing just three hits, one walk while striking out nine in his first career opening day start ... The southpaw faced two over the minimum and at one point retired 12 straight batters from second to sixth innings ... He also fanned four in a row from the last out of the second frame and all three batters faced in the third ... Of the five batters that reached base, only one moved into scoring position, which came in the sixth inning ... He threw 101 pitches with 72 strikes (71 percent) and picked up his 20th career win for the Pirates ... Six of the nine strikeouts were swinging ... To go with his nine punch outs, the fourth most in a start, he also induced four fly outs and six ground outs.
Despite loosing 71.9 percent or 403.2 innings from a year ago, the 2012 ECU pitching staff picked up where it left off in 2011 allowing four runs (two earned) in 27.0 innings and posted an ERA of 0.67 during opening weekend ... The bullpen tossed 11.0 shutout innings allowing just two hits with 11 strikeouts to just two walks.
For the first time since 2000, the Pirates recorded an opening day shutout with the quartet of Brandt (6.2 IP), Tanner Merritt (1.1 IP), Dario Santangelo (0.2 IP) and Drew Reynolds (0.1 IP) holding Milwaukee to just four hits and recording 13 punch outs ... In 2011, the Pirates posted 11 shutouts including a pair during their opening weekend series against Youngstown State ... Back on Feb. 7, 2000 Foye Minton and Davey Penny combined to no-hit Duke in a 5-0 victory at Harrington Field.
Seven Pirates made their ECU debut over the weekend with a pair of junior college transfers cracking the starting lineup ... Junior outfielder Jay Cannon started all three games in right field posting an opening weekend .444 average (4-for-9) with a home run and four RBI ... After going 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored, he followed with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate belting his first Division I home run to lead off the seventh and in the Pirates seven-run sixth inning drove in a pair with a single to left field ... He closed the Saturday twin bill going 1-for-2 with a sac fly RBI, a walk and scored his fifth run of the series ... Junior Jharel Cotton made his ECU debut starting game two of the series (early game of doubleheader) where allowed one run on three hits in six innings with four punch outs ... The St. Thomas, V.I. native retired the first seven batters of the game and the last seven he faced before turning the game over to the bullpen, where a trio of true freshman (Jeff Hoffman, Tyler Bolton and DeShorn Lake) each tossed a scoreless inning of relief ... Hoffman recorded a strikeout in the seventh and Lake needed just five pitches to retire the side in the ninth ... INF Nick Thompson singled up the middle during his first collegiate plate appearance and later scored a run ... Santangelo, who combined on the shutout in the season opener, allowed a hit, a walk and struck out one in two-thirds of an inning.
Sophomore INF/RHP Drew Reynolds picked up a pair of saves on the weekend ... In the season opener he struck out the only batter he faced on three pitches notching his first career save ... On Saturday, he picked up another save retiring all three batters faced (two strikeouts) on 10 pitches ... In two outings he has three punch outs in 1.1 innings pitched.
Junior Tyler Joyner - in only his second career appearance for the Pirates - hurled 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief allowing a hit, walking one and struck out four picking up his first career win ... The southpaw retired 14 of 16 batters faced including the first five and retired the last nine ... In the seventh frame he sat the Panthers down in order on four pitches.
John Wooten extended his current hitting streak to 10 games dating back to the start of the 2011 C-USA Tournament when he belted his first homer of the season and 14th career to lead off the fifth inning in game two of the doubleheader on Saturday ... On the weekend he batted .500 (4-for-8) with five runs (tied for team lead) and collected four walks ... Corey Thompson also batted .500 (5-for-10) on the weekend with a double, three RBI and a pair of runs scored ... In the series finale, his two-RBI double gave the Pirates a 5-3 lead in the seventh inning leading to a come from behind win ... He also drew a team-best five free passes.
Joining Cannon and Wooten with home runs on the weekend were Ben Fultz, Chase McDonald and Jack Reinheimer... Fultz smacked his fifth career round tripper to lead off the fourth inning in game one of the doubleheader, while McDonald's came in the second inning of the game ... Reinheimer led off the season with a solo home run in the series opener, sending the first pitch he saw over the left field wall.
ECU is off to a 3-0 start ... Since the 2001 season, the Pirates have started 3-0 six times and in each of those years they reached the NCAA Regional and in three of those seasons (2001, 2004 and 2009) made Super Regional appearances.
Head Coach Billy Godwin recorded his 482nd career and 220th Pirate win on Saturday in the series sweep ... He ranks second all-time on ECU's wins list and trails only ECU Hall of Famer Gary Overton (427).