Feb. 24, 2012
|East Carolina vs. Maryland
Feb. 26, 2012 | 2 p.m. ET
RADIO: WNCT 1070 AM
|Watch | Live Stats | ECU Notes | Purdue Notes | C-USA Notes | Tickets | Gameday Central | Live Chat|
ABOUT THE LeCLAIR CLASSIC
Regarded as one of the top collegiate tournaments, the Keith LeClair Classic continually brings in top teams from around the country to participate in a three-day round robin tournament ... In its ninth year, the event is named in honor of the former East Carolina skipper Keith LeClair ... During his collegiate baseball career as a player, assistant coach and head coach at Western Carolina and ECU, LeClair was a member of 13 NCAA Tournament teams and earned five conference coach-of-the-year awards ... He was well respected around the college baseball community, that Conference USA named the annual coach-of-the-year award after him ... LeClair passed in 2006 after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.
One of the special things about the annual three-day event is that ECU Head Coach Billy Godwin tries to bring in at least one school that has a tie to LeClair ... This year Maryland is one of the three schools making the trek to Greenville and they are coached by Erik Bakich, a 2000 graduate of ECU ... Bakich played under LeClair for two seasons and was the strength coach on the 2001 team that went 47-13 and made a Super Regional appearance ... Just like many of his former players that went on to coach, Bakich wears No. 23 in honor of LeClair ... Western Carolina is making its second appearance in the last three years, a school LeClair guided to three Southern Conference regular season titles, four tournament crowns and four NCAA Regional appearances.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
East Carolina looks to extend its current winning streak to five games when it faces Purdue on Day 1 of the LeClair Classic ... They have stated a perfect 5-0 12 times in school history with the last coming in 2009.
Kevin Brandt is seeking his second win of the season when he takes the mound Friday night ... In his first out of the year, the senior southpaw scattered three hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings with nine punch outs in ECU's 4-0 win over Milwaukee.
Senior Timothy Younger leads the team with a .615 average (8-for-13) with four RBI and four runs scored ... Younger, who is the ninth recipient of the honorary No. 23 jersey, is the seventh senior to wear the number after the late Keith LeClair following Ben Sanderson (2003), Jamie Paige (2004), Brian Cavanaugh (2005), Adam Witter (2006), Chris Powell (2007), Drew Schieber (2008), Brandon Henderson (2009) and two-time winner Austin Homan (2010-11).
ECU's pitching staff has picked up where it left off in 2011 despite losing 71.9 percent or 403.2 innings from a year ago ... In four games the staff has allowed eight runs (six earned) posting a 1.50 ERA ... In 36.0 innings they have recorded 38 strikeouts to just 10 walks and held opposing hitters to a composite .168 average ... The bullpen has given up just one run (earned) in 17.0 innings sporting an impressive 0.53 ERA with 20 strikeouts and seven walks.
The Pirates moved up two spots to No. 20 in the latest Perfect Game poll ... They are also receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches/ESPN and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).
PIRATES TO WATCH
Junior John Wooten extended his current hitting streak to 11 games with his two run homer in the sixth inning (game-winning hit) at Old Dominion (Feb. 22) in midweek action ... Dating back to the start of the 2011 Conference USA Championships, Wooten is bating .425 (17-for-40) with two home runs, six RBI, nine runs and has collected five multi-hit games.
Sophomore Jack Reinheimer has found his power stroke early this season belting two home runs ... On the first pitch of the 2012 season, he smacked his first collegiate home run sending a shot to left field ... During midweek action at Old Dominion (Feb. 22) he blasted his second round tripper, a two-run shot, to left field ... On the season he is batting .313 (5-for-16) with six RBI and three runs scored.
Sophomore Drew Reynolds collected a pair of saves on the weekend working just 1.1 innings where he recorded three punch outs ... In the series opener he entered the game with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth striking out Ryan Solberg on three-straight pitches ... His second save came in the series finale where he retired the side on 10 pitches with two strikeouts ... Reynolds experienced action in the field replacing Ben Fultz in game one of the Milwaukee doubleheader and then started in left field in the night cap.
Senior Corey Thompson ranks second on the team with a .467 (7-for-15) with a home run, five RBI and four runs ... Against Milwaukee in the series opener, his two-RBI double in the seventh inning on Saturday in game two of the doubleheader proved to be the game-winning hit ... Thompson also drew a team-best five walks on the weekend.
Friday's game will mark the seventh time the two schools have faced one another with the Pirates holding a 4-2 advantage ... The last time the two clubs met was in 2000 where the Pirates took two of three games at the old Harrington Field ... Against members of the current Big Ten Conference, ECU holds an 11-7 all-time record.