Junior Zach Wright
March 21, 2011
The East Carolina baseball team capped off a perfect 5-0 week picking up wins against Elon and Buffalo during midweek action and a three-game non-conference series sweep of Rutgers at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
On the week, the ECU pitching staff tossed its fifth shutout of the season, allowed 11 runs (six earned) and lowered its team ERA to a national leading 1.67. Brad Mincey registered two wins on the week, while Kevin Brandt, Seth Simmons and Mike Wright each collected one. ECU will take a break from action during the week and will be back on the diamond this weekend when it welcomes Memphis to town to open Conference USA play on Friday, March 25.
East Carolina Pirates (16-4)
National Ranking: Receiving Votes (NCBWA and USA Today) as of Mar. 14, 2011
Current Streak: W-5
Last Week: 5-0
Mar. 15: Win at Elon, 4-3 (10)
Mar. 16: Win vs. Buffalo, 6-3
Mar. 18: Win vs. Rutgers, 3-2 (11)
Mar. 19: Win vs. Rutgers, 6-3
Mar. 20: Win vs. Rutgers, 6-0
Home vs. Memphis (Mar. 25-27)
Pirate Hitter of the Week
Zach Wright, Junior, C
Wright batted a team-best .450 (9-for-20) with three home runs and six RBI ... Against instate rival Elon he was 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and run scored ... He drove in Trent Whitehead on a RBI double in the first frame and in the fourth hit his fourth HR of the year, a solo shot that hit off the top of the scoreboard in left field ... Wright followed that with a 4-for-5 performance from the dish against Buffalo that included two home runs, four RBI and three runs scored ... His four base hits established a new career-high ... Wright recorded his third career multi-HR game hitting a solo shot in the fifth and a three-run homer in the eighth ... Against Rutgers he was 2-for-10 with a double and two walks ... On the season he is batting .296 (21-for-71) with six doubles ... Wright leads the team with six home runs, 15 RBI, 17 runs and .634 slugging percentage.
Pirate Pitcher of the Week
Kevin Brandt, Junior, LHP
Brandt appeared in two games on the week including making his second start of the season ... The southpaw worked 12.2 innings with 18 strikeouts, one walk and surrendered one run (unearned) on five hits in his two outings ... Against Elon he worked 5.2 innings of relief with six strikeouts, walked one and allowed one run (unearned) on three hits in ECU's 4-3 extra inning win ... He followed that with a career-best 12 strikeouts in 7.0 shutout innings against Rutgers in the Pirates weekend series sweep ... Brandt faced one of the minimum (22 batters), fanned at least one hitter in all seven innings and had two punch outs in four of seven frames ... It was his longest scoreless outing since his freshman season when he held No. 1 North Carolina (4/22/09) without a run over 8.1 innings in a 4-0 win ... The 12 punch outs was also his third double-digit strikeout performance of his career (10 vs. UNC-4/22/09 & 11 vs. Memphis-4/11/10) ... On the season he is 2-0 with a 0.72 ERA (third-lowest on team) with 26 strikeouts to just five walks in 25.0 innings allowing five runs (two earned) ... Opposing hitters are batting just .190 against him.
Through the first 20 games of the 2011 schedule, the Pirates pitching staff continues to shine and put up impressive numbers ... Currently they own a nation-best 1.67 ERA and have tossed five shutouts (tied for 1st in the nation) with their 6-0 win over Rutgers on Sunday, March 20 ... Seven pitchers with at least eight innings of work have an ERA of 2.25 or lower ... ECU also ranks among the national leaders in opposing batting average (6th/.205), fewest HRs (t-6th/2), wins (t-7th/16) and fewest earned runs (t-8th/34) ... In Conference USA, the Pirates rank first in ERA, opposing BA, wins (t-1st), fewest hits, fewest runs allowed and fewest earned runs allowed ... The Pirates have allowed just 2.8 runs per game, which is tied for fourth nationally.
Senior RHP Brad Mincey continued his dominance on the mound this week making three appearances tossing 4.0 innings of relief and extended his current streak without allowing a run to 21.0 frames dating back to his relief outing at then No. 10 Virginia on Feb. 27 ... In all this week he picked up a pair of wins (Buffalo and Rutgers) allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out six (2 in each outing) ... On the season the Wilmington, N.C. native owns a 0.40 ERA, which leads C-USA and ranks fourth nationally ... He is 4-0 on the season tying him with Mike Wright for the team lead and has allowed just one run (earned) in 22.2 innings with 17 punch outs to just four walks ... Opposing batters are hitting .184 against him.
Seth Simmons became the school's all-time saves leader (24) with his outing against Rutgers on Saturday, March 19 ... The right-hander worked 0.2 innings with a strikeout for his fourth save of the season ... Against Elon in midweek action, Simmons worked 1.2 innings of relief with three walks and two punch outs and picked up his second win of the season and ninth of his career ... On the year he has not allowed a run in 11.1 innings (0.00 ERA), given up just three hits, struck out 17 and walked three in 10 appearances ... He is 2-0 on the year and has held opposing hitters to a .088 average.
Starter Seth Maness worked a career-best 10.0 innings in his start against Rutgers on Friday, March. 19, which was also a new school-record ... He allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks ... The senior right-handers threw 108 pitches facing 36 batters and didn't issue a walk for the third time in five starts in 2011 ... This season he boasts an impressive 1.98 ERA with a 3-1 record on the bump ... He has allowed 15 runs (eighth earned) in a team and league-best 36.1 innings pitched with 36 strikeouts to just four walks ... He tossed a complete game shutout against Pepperdine on March 4 allowing jus two hits and striking out 11 hitters (tying his career-high).
Junior Mike Wright improved to 4-0 on the season working 5.2 innings where he allowed two runs (both earned) on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts against Rutgers on Saturday, March 19 ... In five starts, he has combined on two shutouts, owns a 1.80 ERA allowing right runs (six earned) on 23 hits with 19 punch outs and six walks in 30.0 innings ... Wright, along with Mincey, are tied for first in C-USA with four victories.
True freshman Jonathan Holt made his collegiate debut against Buffalo as a pinch hitter where he laced an RBI single in his first collegiate at-bat ... Over the weekend he started a pair of games as the designated hitter where he drove in two more runs ... In Saturday's win he was 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI and in the series finale with Rutgers collected his first multi-hit game with a 2-for-4 performance at the dish ... In three games he is batting .500 (4-for-8) with three RBI and two runs scored.
John Wooten batted .381 (8-for-21) in the week with three doubles, one RBI and scored a team-best seven runs ... Freshman Ben Fultz, who has started 10 of 16 games is batting a team second-best .306 on the season ... The outfielder smacked his first home run of the season in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and two strikes Friday night to send the game into extra innings, where the Pirates won 3-2 ... Chris Gosik's walk-off single in the 11th inning helped the Pirates to a 3-2 win over Rutgers Friday evening ... He also drove in three runs on the week.
Freshman Jack Reinheimer continued his solid hitting batting .300 on the week (6-for-20) with two RBI and a run scored ... On Saturday he picked up his team-leading fourth game-winning RBI with a single in the fourth frame that scored Holt ... Corey Thompson tied his career-high with four RBI in ECU's 6-0 win over Rutgers Sunday ... The junior infielder was 2-for-4 on the day with a RBI single in the first, two-RBI single in the fifth and a reached on a fielder's choice in the seventh that scored Whitehead for his fourth RBI of the afternoon.
Head Coach Billy Godwin recorded his 472nd career and 209th Pirate win against Rutgers on March 20 ... Currently he ranks third all-time in the win column and is four wins away from passing former Pirate skipper Keith LeClair (212) for second place.