April 2, 2013
|NCCU at East Carolina
Apr. 2, 2013 | 6 p.m. (ET)
RADIO: WNCT 1070 AM
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
ECU and NC State will meet in first of two meetings in over a seven day span when the Wolfpack travels to Greenville tonight ... ECU is coming off a home-and-home series sweep against N.C. Central, while NC State picked up an ACC series win over Maryland ... Both teams have posted a 4-6 record in their last 10 games.
ODDS AND ENDS
ECU has had a power surge of late at the dish hitting 13 home runs in its last 13 games with a season-high four at Elon ... Chase McDonald leads the club with four homers, while Jay Cannon (three), Dylan Brown (two), Zach Houchins (two) and Luke Lowery (two) also have multi-homers on the year ... Brown and Houchins are tied for the team lead with 10 extra bases hits ... To go along with his two homers, Brown has six doubles and two triples, while Houchins has a team-best seven doubles and one triple with his two round trippers ... Cannon extended his streak of reaching base safely to 17 games with his 2-for-4 performance at N.C. Central that consisted of a pair of doubles ... Freshman Travis Watkins leads the team with a .328 average and has recorded five multi-hit games ... Junior reliever Drew Reynolds ranks second and leads ECU with six saves (6-for-7 in save opportunities) ... 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).
ECU enters this week leading the league with a .281 batting average, while ranking second in hits (266), slugging percentage (.386) and home runs (17) ... On the flip side of things, the pitching staff ranks last in ERA (4.85), opposing batting average (.280) and walks (125).
Through 26 games this season, the Pirates have allowed 171 free bases to opponents (125 walks, 46 hit batters), which leads Conference USA ... ECU has outscored its opponents 152-151.
Sophomore Jeff Hoffman earned ECU's second Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Week honor on Monday following his complete game, one-hit shutout against N.C. Central ... Hoffman struck out seven batters, walked three and hit a pair in his first career complete game ... He allowed just two runners to reach scoring position and retired 27 of 32 batters faces, including nine of the final 10 to pick up his third win of the season ... It was the Pirates' first one-hit complete game shutout since Ricky Brooks' gem against Charlotte back on March 26, 2006 ... This was Hoffman's second career weekly honor from C-USA following his 10-strikeout performance at Elon (Apr. 10, 2012) in eight shutout frames.
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.
Nine first year players have seen action on the diamond this season through 28 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.
NC State holds a commanding 65-39 overall record in the series ... A year ago the two teams split the home-and-home series with each club winning on their respective home fields.
Tuesday: Ryan Wilkins (RHP, 2-1, 3.44 ERA) vs. Ryan Williams (RHP, 5-1, 3.97 ERA)
PIRATES TO WATCH
Williams Notes: Leads team with five wins, while ranking second in C-USA ... Appeared in eight games (six starts) ... Picked up win in relief at Elon (Mar. 27) tossing 4.1 perfect innings with seven strikeouts ... Suffered first loss of the season at No. 28 Houston (Mar. 23), where he allowed four runs (all earned) on seven hits in 6.1 innings with three walks and two strikeouts ... Registered fourth win at Jacksonville (Mar. 16) allowing six runs (all earned) on 13 hits with five punch-outs ... Bullpen appearance at Campbell (Mar. 13) allowing a run in one-third of an inning ... Third consecutive win vs. Monmouth (Mar. 9) allowing six runss (five earned) on 11 hits with three strikeouts in 7.1 IP ... Got second-straight victory on the mound vs. St. John's (Mar. 2) allowing a run (earned) on seven hits with one strikeout in 8.0 IP ... Notched first win of ECU career against Boston College (Feb. 23) allowing a run (unearned) on six hits with five strikeouts ... Has three quality starts.
Houchins batted .467 (7-for-15) with a team-best five RBI and 12 total bases to go along with his three runs scored during ECU's 3-1 week ... He recorded a pair of game-winning RBI (Elon, NCCU), had an extra base hit in 3 of 4 contests, posted a pair of multi-hit games and had at least one base knock in all four contests during the Pirates 3-1 week ... Against William & Mary he was 1-for-3 with a double ... At in-state rival Elon, he collected a pair of hits after entering the game as a pinch hitter in the sixth ... During that at-bat, with the game tied at four, Houchins delivered a two-RBI double off the wall in left center scoring Luke Lowery and Bryan Bass giving the Pirates a 6-4 lead - which they would never relinquish ... Later in the game he recorded his third RBI of the afternoon with an RBI single through the left side in the ninth scoring Bass ... Houchins followed that game with a 3-for-4 performance against N.C. Central coming a homer shy of hitting for the cycle ... In his first at-bat he laced an RBI double to left field scoring Dylan Brown for a 1-0 ECU lead (game-winning hit) ... He followed that with and RBI triple to right center in the third plating Jay Cannon ... In the fourth frame he singled to left center and came 10 feet short of hitting for the cycle when he flied out to deep center in the sixth ... To wrap up the week, Houchins went 1-for-5 on the road at NCCU with a single and a run scored in the first inning at the historic Durham Athletic Park ... On the season he is batting .278 (20-for-72) with seven doubles, triple, two home runs, 18 RBI and 15 runs scored.
ECU Head Coach Billy Godwin owns a career record of 529-261-1 in 14 season as a skipper ... At ECU he is 267-176-1 ... His 267 wins trails only ECU Hall of Famer Dr. Gary Overton, who amassed 427 wins in 13 years (1985-1997) as the Pirates' skipper.