April 17, 2014
|Middle Tennessee at East Carolina
Apr. 18, 2014 | 5 p.m. (ET)
RADIO: WNCT 1070 AM
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
East Carolina returns to C-USA action this weekend when it plays host to Middle Tennessee in a three-game league series ... This is the first meeting between the two schools and MTSU's first trip to North Carolina since 1989, when they played a three-game series at Western Carolina.
ECU enters the weekend series having won 13 of its last 18 games, but dropped a C-USA series at Old Dominion over the weekend ... The Pirates will continue its five-game home stand with the three-game series against MTSU, which will be followed by a midweek tilt against North Carolina on Tuesday, Apr.. 22 at 6 p.m. (ET).
MTSU comes into the series having won 10 of its last 16, which included a three-game non-conference sweep over Mississippi Valley State last weekend ... Just like the Pirates, the Blue Raiders notched a series win over No. 10 Rice in Murfreesboro, Tenn. March 28-30 ... They are led offensively by Trent Miller, who leads the team in batting (.361), hits (53), doubles (17) and RBI (27) ... MTSU's pitching staff is lead by Zac Curtis, who is 5-1 on the season in nine starts with a team-best 2.48 ERA among its starters.
Heading into the season, ECU returns 18 letterwinners including Second-Team Louisville Slugger All-American Drew Reynolds and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American David Lucroy. Joining Reynolds (first-team) and Lucroy (second-team/freshman team), who were also All-Conference USA performers in 2013, are Hoffman (second-team/'13), Zach Houchins (second-team/'13) and Travis Watkins (freshman team/'13).
Also stepping onto the diamond are 16 new faces, which consist of five junior college transfers in Hunter Allen (Brunswick CC), James Gray (South Florida State College), Reid Love (St. Johns River State College), Brandon Saunders (Pitt CC) and Ian Townsend (St. Johns River State College)
The Pirates also welcome to campus 11 true freshmen in Luke Bolka, Kirkpatrick, TJ McDonald, Bryce Harman, Evan Kruczynski, Kirk Morgan, Philip Perry, Cameron Snow, Eric Tyler, Jacob Wolfe and Charlie Yorgen.
Thursday: RHP Jeff Hoffman (2-3, 3.34 ERA) vs. LHP Zac Curtis (5-1, 2.48 ERA)
Friday: RHP Brett Mabry (3-0, 0.89 ERA) vs. RHP Paul Mittura (2-2, 3.59 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Tyler Bolton (1-3, 2.19 ERA) vs. LHP Johnathan Frebis (3-3, 4.43 ERA)
STARTING PITCHER NOTES
Hoffman Notes: No decision vs. JMU in season opener...Allowed 4 Rs (3 ERs) on 4 Hs with 6 Ks and 2 BBs...Suffered loss at No. 1 UVA allowing 3 Rs (2 ERs) on 5 Hs w/3 BBs and 6 Ks...Earned Louisville Slugger National Player-of-the-Week and C-USA Co-Pitcher-of-the-Week following his 14-strikeout game vs. WKU in the LeClair Classic, no decision...Got loss in C-USA opener against Marshall giving up 3 Rs (all earned) on 2 Hs w/7 BBs and 6 Ks...Suffered second-straight C-USA loss against Tulane allowing 6 Rs (5 ERs) on 7 Hs with 2 BBs and 5 Ks in 6.1 innings...Third no decision of the season came at Charlotte allowing 3 Rs (all earned) on 7 Hs with 2 Ks in 7.0 IP...Notched first win vs. UMBC allowing 2 Rs (2 ERs) on 6 Hs w/6Ks in 7.0 IP...Picked up win at No. 12 Rice allowing 1 R on 7 Hs w/7 Ks and 1 BB in 8.0 IP...No decision at ODU where he tossed 6.1 IP allowing 3 Rs (2 ERs) w/ 4 Ks...Recorded quality starts in 7-of-9 outings pushing career total to 24...Punched out 56 batters while walking 19 in 59.1 innings in 2014.
Mabry Notes: Scheduled to make third start of the season (fifth career)...Ranks seventh nationally with a 0.89 ERA...Appeared in 12 games (3 starts)...Notched wins against Pittsburgh (LeClair Classic), Charlotte and No. 25 NC State...Allowed 10 Rs (4 ERs) on 32 hits in 40.1 innings...Tossed career-high 6.0 shutout innings vs. NC State tying career-best with 6 Ks...Against No. 12 Rice surrendered 3 Rs (all unearned) on 6 hits with 1 K...Also worked 5.0 innings against James Madison and Marshall...Has not allowed an earned run last six outings (24.1 innings)...Fanned 20 while walking nine...In 2013, led club with 2.35 ERA in 2013 appearing in 19 games (two starts) with a 4-3 record and one save.
Bolton Notes: Started 7 of 8 games (JMU, VCU/twice, UNCG, WFU, NCCU, NCSU), where he has allowed 17 Rs (9 ERs) on 38 Hs w/17 BBs & 19 Ks...Notched first collegiate win vs Eagles (3/26) surrendering 2 Rs (1 ER)in three pre-determined innings...Tossed 5.2 relief frames at ODU allowing 1 R on 4 Hs with 5 Ks...Two of seven starts have been quality starts...Allowed two or fewer ERs in all eight outings...Punched out five batters vs. VCU and ODU...Scheduled to make second weekend start of the season (first was vs. JMU on Feb. 16).
OTHER PIRATES TO WATCH
Ryan Williams enters this weeks action as the NCAA leader in wins (9), fourth in K-to-BB ratio (15.67) and fourth in BBs per 9 Inn (0.45) ... He also ranks among C-USA leaders in seven other pitching categories ... In 21 appearances, Williams is 9-2 with three saves and has 47 strikeouts to just three walks ... The right-hander has allowed 17 runs (13 earned) on 52 hits for a 1.95 ERA ... He is holding opposing batters to a .233 composite average ... On March 15, he picked up both wins in the doubleheader sweep against Tulane marking the first Pirate since Gary Smith in 1987 to accomplish that feat (vs. Rider on March 24).
Senior RHP Drew Reynolds became ECU's all-time saves leader after picking up a pair of saves at the 11th Annual Keith LeClair Classic ... The Cherryville, N.C. native entered the 2014 season with 24 and is 5-for-6 in save opportunities this season ... After tying the mark, previously held by Seth Simmons (2008-11), against Pittsburgh on March 1 following a perfect ninth, Reynolds set the new standard of 27 in the LeClair Classic Championship against Ohio State allowing a run on three hits in one inning ... Currently he has 29 career saves ... On the year, he has appeared in 13 games sporting a 1.76 ERA with a 2-0 ledger and five saves in 15.1 innings ... At the plate he batting .324 (47-for-145) with a team-best 24 runs scored ... Reynolds has nine extra base hits (7 2Bs, 3B, HR) and driven in 16 runs ... He currently ranks second on the club with 14 multi-hit games.
Senior Zach Houchins currently leads the team in hits (53), batting average (.349), doubles (11), total bases (67), multi-hit games (18) and stolen bases (five) ... In game three of the ODU series, he was 4-for-7 with a home run (first of season) and three runs scored.
Freshman Bryce Harman belted his team-leading fourth home run in ECU's 12-7 extra-inning win over ODU ... On the weekend he was 5-for-9 (.556) with three walks, four runs, two RBI and collected a pair of multi-hit games.
ECU Head Coach Billy Godwin is in his 15th career as a college head coach, where he owns a career record of 568-288-1 ... At ECU he is 306-203-1 in nine seasons ... He recorded his 300th career win at ECU in game two of the doubleheader against UMBC (6-0) ... His 306 wins trails only ECU Hall of Famer Dr. Gary Overton, who amassed 427 wins in 13 years (1985-1997) as the Pirates' skipper.