Baseball Games 34-36: East Carolina at Tulane
April 12, 2013
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
ODDS AND ENDS
Heading into this weeks action, the Pirates rank third in Conference USA with a .272 batting average, while also ranking among the league leaders in home runs (19/t1st), slugging percentage (.373/2nd), runs scored (163/3rd), hits (297/3rd) and RBI (147/3rd) ... On the flipside, ECU ranks towards the bottom of the league in ERA (4.55/8th), strikeouts (206/7th), runs allowed (170/8th) and opposing batting average (.276/9th).
Through 33 games this season, the Pirates have allowed 188 free bases to opponents (138 walks, 50 hit batters), which leads Conference USA ... ECU has been outscored by its opponents 172-163.
Travis Watkins was one of 15 catchers added to the official watch list for the 2013 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com and the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on April 9 ... The Bench Award, which is given annually to the top division one collegiate catcher, is a rolling list that will be updated to include other candidate until May of 2013 ... Watkins, who is the lone freshman on the 62-player list, has started 23 of 27 games behind the plate and is leading East Carolina with a .310 average heading into its weekend series at Tulane ... In his rookie season, Watkins has driven 13 runs, recorded a pair of doubles, scored five runs, posted six multi-hit games and has thrown out 10-of-26 base stealers (38.5 percent) ... A native of Concord, N.C., Watkins is the fifth catcher in program history to be named to the watch list following Jake Smith (2006 winner), Corey Kemp (2007-08 semifinalist), Jared Avchen (2010) and Zach Wright (2010-12).
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.
PIRATES TO WATCH
Hoffman Notes: Struck out nine in 8.2 innings against No. 18 Rice (Apr. 5) ... Allowed three runs (all unearned) on eight hits with one walk in a 3-0 loss ... Named C-USA Co-Pitcher-of-the-Week (Apr. 1) after tossing complete game, one-hit shutout against N.C. Central (Mar. 29) where he had seven strikeouts in his third win ... Has not allowed an earned run in 18.0 straight innings ... Posted wins against Illinois (Feb. 21), St. John's (Mar. 1) and NC Central ... Suffered losses at No. 28 Houston (Mar. 22), at Jacksonville (Mar. 15) and in the season opener against then No. 25 Virginia (Feb. 15) ... Recorded a no-decision against Monmouth (Mar. 8) ... Fanned a season-high nine batters twice (Rice, Monmouth).
Lucroy Notes: Appeared in eight games making seven starts ... Leads the team and ranks among the C-USA leaders in opposing batting average (.173/3rd), fewest ER runs (9/9th), ERA (1.96/10th) and strikeouts (44/t10th) ... Allowed two runs (one earned) against rice in seven innings ... Recorded wins against St. John's (Mar. 3), Monmouth (Mar.10) and Jacksonville (Mar. 17) ... Named C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week (Mar. 11) after tossing a two-hit complete game shutout with a career-best 12 strikeouts against Monmouth ... Five scoreless innings in first collegiate start vs. NMSU (Feb. 25) allowing three hits with three walks and three strikeouts ... Collegiate debut vs. No. 25 UVA ... Has four quality starts on the season.
Williams Notes: Leads team with five wins, while ranking third in C-USA ... Appeared in 10 games (eight starts) ... Picked up win in relief at Elon (Mar. 27) tossing 4.1 perfect innings with seven strikeouts ... Also had wins against Boston College (Feb. 22), St. John's (Mar. 2), Monmouth (Mar. 9) and at Jacksonville (Mar. 16) ... Losses against at Houston (Mar. 23) and NC State (Apr. 2) ... Bullpen appearance at Campbell (Mar. 13) along with Elon ... Notched first win of ECU career against Boston College (Feb. 23) allowing a run (unearned) on six hits with five strikeouts ... Has four quality starts.
Junior Drew Reynolds enters the week with a team-best game hitting streak, which ended after an 0-for-3 performance at NC State ... During the streak, he batted .360 (9-for-25) with four RBI, four runs and a pair of doubles ... On the mound, Reynolds is coming off a career-long outing where he worked 5.0 scoreless innings against No. 18 Rice with four strikeouts in ECU's 3-2 13-inning victory and lowered his ERA to a team-best 1.80 ... He ranks third in C-USA 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).
Zach Houchins picked up his third game-winning RBI in the last seven games with his walk-off RBI single in the 13th inning against No. 18 Rice, that scored Jack Reinheimer ... Other game-winning RBIs were at Elon (Mar. 27) and N.C. Central (Mar. 29) ... On the season he is batting .234 (22-for-94) with a pair of home runs 20 RBI, which is tied for the team lead ... He ranks second behind Brown with 11 extra base hits (2 HRs, 8 doubles, 1 triple) and has scored 15 runs.
ECU Head Coach Billy Godwin owns a career record of 530-265-1 in 14 season as a skipper ... At ECU he is 268-180-1 ... His 268 wins trails only ECU Hall of Famer Dr. Gary Overton, who amassed 427 wins in 13 years (1985-1997) as the Pirates' skipper.