Junior Corey Thompson
Feb. 21, 2011
The East Carolina baseball team is off to a 3-0 start following a series opening sweep of Youngstown State at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. After one weekend the strength of the squad looks to be the pitching staff, who surrendered just three runs in 27.0 innings, while the starting trio of Seth Maness, Zach Woods and Mike Wright allowed just one in 17 innings - a lead off home run in the season opener.
East Carolina Pirates (3-0)
National Ranking: Receiving Votes (Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA)
Current Streak: W-3
Last Week: 3-0
Feb. 18 - Win vs. Youngstown State, 11-3
Feb. 19 - Win vs. Youngstown State, 1-0
Feb. 20 - Win vs. Youngstown State, 10-0
Road vs. No. 13 Virginia (Feb. 25-27)
Pirate Hitter of the Week
Corey Thompson, Junior, INF
Thompson helped the Pirates to a series opening sweep over the Penguins after batting .400 (4-for-10) on the weekend ... He shared the team lead in doubles (2) and RBI (4), while ranking second in total bases (6), slugging percentage (.600) and on-base percentage (.538) ... In the season opener he was 3-for-4 with a team-best three RBI and extended his hitting streak to six games ... Roped his second double of the season for his only hit in the sixth inning of game three driving in his fourth run of the weekend ... He reached base in all three contests and recorded 25 putouts at first base with no errors ... Thompson owns a .383 batting average, which currently ranks fourth among C-USA active players.
Pirate Pitcher of the Week
Seth Maness, Senior, RHP
Maness picked up his 29th career win in the season opener against Youngstown State and set the tone for a series sweep, which included back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 2006 ... The senior right-hander made his third consecutive Opening Day start and improved to 2-1 in those outings ... He worked seven innings allowing one run on four hits with seven strikeouts (all swinging) an no walks ... After surrendering a leadoff home run, Maness retired the next 11 hitters before giving up a single in the fourth frame ... In all he faced 26 batters and posted a 1.29 ERA, while holding opposing hitters to a .160 (4-for-25) batting average ... Maness moved into a tie for third place on the Pirates all-time wins list with Jim Peterson (1983-86) and is fourth all-time on C-USA's wins list.
ECU's pitching staff posted consecutive shutouts (Saturday/Sunday) for the first time since 2006 ... All three starters (Maness, Zach Woods and Mike Wright) combined to allow just one run, a leadoff HR to start the season, in 17 innings ... In all the Pirates hurlers posted a 1.00 ERA allowing three runs (all earned) on the weekend with 25 strikeouts to just six walks.
Six true freshmen made their collegiate debuts for the Pirates with three cracking the starting lineup on Opening Day ... Chase McDonald (DH), Jack Reinheimer (SS) and Drew Reynolds (3B) started all three games over the weekend each collecting a hit in their first collegiate at-bats and played a key role in the Pirates opening weekend sweep ... McDonald batted .300 (3-for-10) with a home run, four RBI, three runs scored while slugging .700 ... Reinheimer recorded a hit in all three games and drove in the game-winning RBI in the fourth inning of the Pirates 10-0 win Sunday on a bunt single ... Reynolds collected a pair of hits and played solid defense at the hot corner and saved a run with a leaping catch on a line drive ... Outfielder Ben Fultz and catcher Joshua Lovick made their debuts as defensive replacements in the season opener and Fultz laced a shot back up the middle in his first collegiate at-bat on Sunday ... RHP Austin Chrismon faced one batter in the seventh frame on Sunday getting Chris Mitko to fly out with a runner on third and two outs.
Junior College second baseman Tim Younger was solid in the Pirates season opener batting .375 (3-for-8) with three walks, two sac bunts and was plunked by a pitch ... He collected two hits in his Pirate debut and drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth Saturday for a 1-0 victory ... Defensively he recorded one putout and had six assists.
Philip Clark and Trent Whitehead were perfect on the base paths against Youngstown State and combined to steal all seven of ECU's bases ... Clark was 3-for-3 and Whitehead was 4-for-4 on the weekend ... Whitehead tied his single-game career-high with three in the season opener and added one in Sunday's contest ... At the dish, Whitehead batted .273 (3-for-11) four RBI and four runs scored and collected the game-winning hit in game one on a two-RBI double in the second inning ... Clark is tied with Younger for second on the team with a .375 (3-for-8) average and has three RBI.
John Wooten (UTIL) and Zach Wright (C) finally got their bats going in the series finale against Youngstown State each going 2-for-4 at the plate with a RBI and two runs scored ... Wooten recorded the Pirates first triple of the season with a shot to right center in the fifth and Wright followed with a RBI double down the right field line ... Wooten played a variety of positions on the weekend experiencing action in right field, left field and at first base.
Junior Kevin Brandt (1-0) pitched four innings of near perfect relief allowing just two of 14 hitters to reach base (walk and hit) while striking out five for his first win of the season and seventh career win out of the bullpen on Saturday ... Starter Zach Woods scattered three hits and punched out six in five innings of work before handing the ball over to Brandt ... Mike Wright (1-0) picked up his fourth career win Sunday working five scoreless innings allowing three hits with one walk and one punch out.
ECU is off to a 3-0 start ... Since the 2001 season, the Pirates have started 3-0 five 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 459th career and 196th Pirate win on Sunday in the series sweep ... He ranks third all-time on ECU's wins list and is four away from becoming the third Pirate skipper to win 200 career games (Gary Overton/427 and Keith LeClair/212).
During the opening series, the Pirates ushered in 11,132 fans (3,710 avg.) which included the second-largest opening day crowd at Clark-LeClair Stadium (4,008) on Friday ... Last year ECU welcomed 5,012 fans to see the season opener against No. 2 Virginia on Feb. 19.