March 22, 2013
|East Carolina at (28) Houston
Mar. 24, 2013 | 2 p.m. (ET)
RADIO: WNCT 1070 AM
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
Friday's game will kickoff the 2013 Conference USA Baseball season for both schools ... ECU was picked to finish third in the league by the coaches in the preseason poll, while Houston was tabbed seventh ... Houston leads the league with an .818 winning percentage (18-4) and ECU limps into the series having dropped five of its last seven contests and owns an 11-10 record ... Senior Jay Cannon enters the series riding a 10-game hitting streak where he has belted two home runs, laced a pair of doubles, driven in five runs and scored nine times during the streak ... Junior Jack Reinheimer leads the team and ranks seventh in C-USA with a .338 average ... He is also the team leader in hits (27), which is tied for seventh in the league ... Junior Drew Reynolds leads C-USA and is ranked sixth in the nation with six saves (6-for-6 in save opportunities).
ODDS AND ENDS
Both Houston and ECU rank among the league leaders offensively heading into the series ... Houston's offense is first in average (.293), slugging percentage (.397), on-base percentage (.388), runs (151), hits (217) and RBI (130) ... ECU stands in the top four in average (.285/2nd), slugging (.302/2nd), on-base percentage (.359/4th), runs (120/3rd), hits (201/t3rd), RBI (106/3rd) and home runs (10/2nd) ... On the flipside of things, the Pirates' pitching staff ranks dead last with a 5.15 ERA ... The starters have a 3.82 ERA with 90 strikeouts to 45 walks in 119.1 innings, while the bullpen has struggled with a 7.32 ERA with 50 punch outs and 50 walks in 67.2 frames.
Through 21 games this season, the Pirates have allowed 140 free bases to opponents (95 walks, 35 hit batters), which leads Conference USA ... ECU is also even on the runs scored and runs allowed stat line having scored 120 times this year, but surrendering 120 runs - a 5.7 per game average.
Redshirt freshman David Lucroy earned his first Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Week honors after tossing a two-hit complete game shutout against Monmouth (Mar. 10) in the series clinching win ... The right-hander struck out a career-high 12 batters with nine going down swinging ... It was the first complete game shutout since Seth Maness' 4-0 win over Southern Miss in the 2011 Conference USA Championships.
Entering this weekend's action, the Pirates have won four-straight weekend series after taking 2 of 3 games on the road at Jacksonville ... ECU has the fifth highest RPI in the league (109/BoydsWorld and 109/WarrenNolan) ... Houston leads the league with a 46 RPI rating by both Boyds World and Warren Nolan.
Reynolds notched his sixth save of the season and 16th of his career against the Dolphins last Sunday ... His 16 career saves moves him into a tie for third place on the school's all-time list with former All-American Greg Bunn (2002-04).
Nine first year players have seen action on the diamond this season through 21 games ... If you include players that redshirted during their first year in the Pirate program (2012 season), then 12 newcomers have stepped on the field during the regular season.
The Pirates hold a 22-17-1 all-time record on the series having won five of the last eight contests for a 5-2-1 ledger ... A year ago, ECU claimed a series win in Greenville (2-0-1) ... At Cougar Field, ECU holds a slim 7-6 advantage in the win column and won its last series in Houston in 2011 (2-1).
Friday: Houston 7, East Carolina 2 (Final)
Saturday: Houston 4, East Carolina 3 (Final)
Sunday: TBA vs. David Lucroy (RHP, 3-1, 2.05 ERA)
PIRATES TO WATCH
Hoffman Notes: Suffered second loss of the season at Jacksonville (Mar. 15) after going head-to-head with Chris Anderson ... Allowed 3 Rs (all earned) on 7 Hs w/5 BBs and5 Ks ... Recorded a no-decision against Monmouth (Mar. 8) after working 8 inn where he allowed 3 Rs (all earned) on 6 Hs hits w/2 BBs and 4 Ks ... Posted second win of the season against St. John's (Mar.1) going 7.0 inn allowing 3 Rs (2 ER) on 8 Hs with 2 Ks ... Notched win against Illinois (Feb. 21) where he allowed just 1 R (1 ER) on 6 hits in 6.2 innings ... Fanned a season-high nine batters and recorded at least one punch out in four of six full frames including the side in the sixth ... Seven of his nine strikeouts were of the swinging kind including four in a row - all three in sixth and first batter of the seventh ... At one point, he retired nine straight Illinois batters before giving up a single in the sixth with two outs ... Suffered loss on opening day to No. 25 Virginia allowing 4 Rs (all earned) on 4 Hs w/4 BBs & 7 Ks ... Has four quality starts on the season.
Williams Notes: Won four-straight decisions ... Picked up fourth win at Jacksonville (Mar. 16) allowing 6 Rs (all earned) on 13 hits w/5 Ks ... Bullpen appearance at Campbell (Mar. 13) allowing a run in one-third of an inning ... Third consecutive win vs. Monmouth (Mar. 9) allowing 6 Rs (5 ERs) on 11 hits with 3 Ks in 7.1 IP ... Got second-straight victory on the mound vs. St. John's (Mar. 2) allowing a run (earned) on 7 Hs w/1 K in 8.0 IP ... Notched first win of ECU career against Boston College (Feb. 23) allowing 1 R (unearned) on 6 Hs w/5 Ks ... Has three quality starts.
Lucroy Notes: Picked up win at Jacksonville allowing 3 Rs on 7 Hs w/& Ks in 6.0 IP ....Two-hit CG SHO vs. Monmouth (Mar. 10) with a season-high 12 Ks and earned C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week honors ... Picked up first collegiate win against St. John's (Mar. 3) fanning 9 in 6.1 IP ... Allowed 2 Rs (both earned) on 2 Hs w/ 3 BBs ... Five scoreless IP in his first collegiate start vs. NMSU (Feb. 25) allowing 3 Hs w/ 3 BBs and 3 Ks... Collegiate debut vs. No. 25 UVA ... Has three quality starts.
Cannon has had a power surge lately for the Pirates belting a pair of home runs in the last six games (at Campbell and at UNCW) ... Currently he leads the club with three homers, while ranking second in batting average (20-for-66), tied for second in runs (11) and third in hits (20).
Reinheimer, who had an impressive weekend at Jacksonville going 7-for-14 (.500) with a double, two RBI and two runs scored, has struggled in his last three outings going hitless in his last 12 at-bats ... However, he still leads the team in average (.338), hits (27) and multi-hit contests (8).
Freshman Luke Lowery is batting .414 (12-for-29) with a pair of home runs, seven RBI and five runs scored ... He owns a .690 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .455 ... At Jacksonville, he hit home runs in consecutive games (Saturday and Sunday) with his first round trippers coming in the Pirates seven-run sixth inning (2-run shot) ... On Sunday he was credited with the game-winning RBI on a solo home run in the fourth frame.
After starting the season 0-3, the Pirates have won 11 of its last 18 games, which include three wins in the 10th Annual Keith LeClair Classic, a series sweep of St. John's, a series win against Monmouth and at Jacksonville ... ECU Head Coach Billy Godwin improved his career coaching record to 526-257-1 and his Pirate record to 264-172-1 ... His 264 wins trails only ECU Hall of Famer Dr. Gary Overton, who amassed 427 wins in 13 years (1985-1997) as the Pirates' skipper.