East Carolina Baseball Notebook (Weekly Recap)

UABSPORTS.COM Shawn Armstrong stuck out a career-best eight batters against Houston (4/23/11)
Shawn Armstrong stuck out a career-best eight batters against Houston (4/23/11)

April 25, 2011

East Carolina picked up its second-straight Conference USA series win over the weekend at Houston. Seth Simmons (5-1, 0.41 ERA) and Shawn Armstrong (2-1, 4.26 ERA) notched wins for the Pirates over the Cougars, while senior Trent Whitehead led the team offensively with a .474 average where he was 9-for-19 with two home runs and a team-best eight RBI.

The Pirates have arguably their most difficult week of the season approaching as they will travel to former Colonial Athletic Association foe Old Dominion for a Tuesday night game, before returning to Lewis Field at Clark-LeClair Stadium for the first of four consecutive games against nationally ranked teams (North Carolina/April 27 and Southern Miss/April 29-May 1).

East Carolina Pirates (27-13, 8-7 C-USA)
National Ranking: Receiving Votes (NCBWA and USA Today) as of April 18, 2011

Current Streak: W-1

Last Week: 3-1
April 19 - Win vs. UNC Wilmington (17-13)
April 21 - Win at Houston (5-4/ 12 innings)
April 22 - Loss at Houston (4-2)
April 23 - Win at Houston (12-2/ 7 innings)

Upcoming Week:
Road at Old Dominion (April 26)
Home vs. No. 10 North Carolina (April 27)
Home vs. No. 19 Southern Miss (April 29-May 1)

Pirate Hitter-of-the-Week
Trent Whitehead, Senior, OF
Whitehead helped the Pirates to a 3-1 week which included a series win at Houston ... He led the team with a .474 (9-for-19) average, while also ranking tops in hits (9), RBI (8), total bases (16) and slugging percentage (.842) ... He also collected three multi-hit games and two multi-RBI games ... Against Houston he drove in the game-winning RBI in both ECU wins and hit a pair of home runs in the series clinching win ... To open the week against UNC Wilmington, the senior from Washington, N.C. was 4-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored ... He reached on his final four at-bats, all singles spraying the ball all around the field ... Whitehead followed that with a 3-for-6 performance in the series opening win at Houston, which included a game-winning RBI single in the top of the 12th ... He would reach base in his final four at-bats with two singles, a double and a fielder's choice ... In the series finale, Whitehead hit a pair of two-run home runs going 2-for-3 with a walk, four RBI and three runs scored ... His first base knock of the game, a homer to center field, proved to be the game-winning hit ... In the sixth his two-run home run put the Pirates up 12-2 setting up their series clinching win ... Since April 6, Whitehead has recorded a base hit in 10 of 12 games and currently hitting .296 with a team-best 13 doubles and 48 hits ... He ranks second on the squad with four round trippers, has driven in 15 RBI and scored 28 runs.



Pirate Pitcher-of-the-Week
Shawn Armstrong, Redshirt Sophomore, RHP
Armstrong picked up the series clinching win against Houston working 5.0 innings (tying career-high) in his fifth start of the season improving to 2-1 on the year ... On the week he worked a total of 7.2 innings allowing four runs (all earned) with 10 punch outs in a pair of starts ... On a pitch count against UNC Wilmington, Armstrong went 2.2 innings where he allowed a pair of runs on two hits with two strikeouts in series sweep of the Seahawks, 17-13 ... He followed that with a five-inning performance in ECU's 12-2 seven inning win over Houston that clinched the weekend series ... He struck out a career-best eight batters while walking two and allowed a pair of runs (both earned) on six hits ... During the second and third innings, he struck out six of seven batters faced and in the fourth fanned Landon Appling looking to get out of a bases loaded jam ... He closed out the fifth inning by striking out the last two batters before giving way to Brad Mincey to start the sixth ... On the season, Armstrong has made 11 appearances (5 starts) recording 28 strikeouts, walking 15 in 25.1 innings ... He owns a 4.26 ERA and has combined on a pair of shutouts this season (Youngstown State and Rutgers).

During ECU's four-game week, the starting pitching allowed 12 runs (10 earned) in 24.0 innings of work and recorded three quality starts (6.0 IP or more and 3 or less ERs) ... Freshman Austin Chrismon recorded his first collegiate win in ECU's 17-13 win over UNC Wilmington ... The right-hander after worked 2.2 innings allowing one run (earned) on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in his third relief appearance of the season ... Junior Mike Wright worked a career-best 9.0 innings in the series opener at Houston ... He surrendered four runs (three earned) on six hits and struck out seven, while walking one in a no-decision ... Six of Wright's 10 starts have been quality starts on the year ... He owns a 4-2 record with a 2.83 ERA, 26 strikeouts and has allowed 25 runs (20 earned) on 50 hits in 63.2 innings ... Senior Seth Simmons picked up the win in relief in the series opener striking out five Cougars in 3.0 innings to improve to 5-1 on the season ... The right-handed closer sports a team-best 0.41 ERA in 18 appearances and has allowed two runs (one earned) in 22.0 innings with 34 strikeouts ... Kevin Brandt suffered his first loss of the season on Friday after giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits in 7.1 innings ... Since moving to the weekend rotation, Brandt has recorded five quality starts ... Currently he has a 1.67 ERA with 42 strikeouts to 15 walks ... Senior Seth Maness, who missed his first career weekend start against Houston because of a sore forearm, is 5-3 on the season after notching his fourth career win against UCF on April 15 ... He worked 6.0 innings allowing one run (earned) on four hits with three strikeouts against the Knights ... Maness also recorded his 33rd career win, which moved him into a tie for second place on C-USA's all-time wins list (21-5 all-time vs. C-USA members) ... All three weekend starters rank among the league leaders in ERA (Brandt/1.67/2nd; Maness/2.05/4th; Wright/2.83/8th), while Brant has the second-lowest opponent batting average (.207) ... Maness is fourth in innings pitch (66.0 IP) and sixth in strikeouts (58).

Senior RHP Brad Mincey appeared in two games out of the bullpen this week tossing 4.1 innings ... He allowed two runs (both unearned) on six hits with five strikeouts ... Against instate rival UNC Wilmington, he allowed two runs on two hits with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings ... He followed that with a two-inning relief appearance in the series clinching win over Houston where he worked 2.0 scoreless innings allowing four hits and striking out one ... Mincey has appeared in seven league games allowing five runs (one earned) in 13.0 innings with 10 strikeouts and boasts a team-best 0.69 ERA ... On the season, Mincey has appeared in a team-best 20 games (1 start) where he has allowed 12 runs (four earned) on 41 hits in 43.0 innings ... He has 33 strikeouts to eight walks and owns a NCAA-best 0.84 ERA ... Against UNC Wilmington, Mincey extended his current streak to 34.0 innings without allowing an earned run before finally giving up two in the ninth inning ... In 19 appearances out of the bullpen (39.1 innings) he has allowed eight runs (three earned - 1 vs. UVA, 2 vs. UNCW).

Offensively the Pirates averaged 13.5 hits in each of their four games and had double-digit hits in three of the four games including a season-high 22 against UNC Wilmington - their second 20-plus hit barrage of the season ... They batted .335 on the week scoring 36 runs (9.0 pg) on 54 hits and belted eight home runs ... Chase McDonald continued his hot hitting batting .467 7-for-15) with a home run, five RBI and six runs scored ... He also added a double, two walks and was hit one time, while only striking out once ... He enters this week's action with a career-best six game hitting streak where he is batting .522 (12-for-23) with six RBI and eight runs scored ... Joining Whitehead and McDonald with averages of .400 or higher on the week are Philip Clark (.438/7-for-16) and Corey Thompson (.412/7-for-17) ... Clark, who has a team-best eight-game hitting streak, belted his second home run of the season against UNCW and finished the game going 3-for-4 with four RBI ... He recorded his second multi-hit game of the week against Houston in ECU's 5-4 come from behind win in 12 innings going 2-for-4 with a run scored ... During his eight-game streak, Clark is batting .423 (11-for-26) with seven RBI and seven runs ... Thompson belted a pair of two-run home runs on the week pushing his season total to three and extending his current hit streak to seven games ... On the week he drove in four runs and scored six times, while drawing a walk and reaching base on a hit by pitch ... Also hitting home runs for the Pirates on the week were freshman Ben Fultz and sophomore John Wooten ... Fultz led off Saturday's game against Houston with a solo shot, his fourth round-tripper of the season, setting the tone for ECU's 12-2 seven inning win ... He finished the week batting .300 (6-for-20) with five RBI ... On Thursday Fultz ripped two-run triple in the ninth with two outs tying the game at four and sending it into extra innings, where the Pirates won 5-4 ... Wooten snapped his 176 at-bat streak without a homer, hitting a two-run shot in the Pirates six-run fifth inning Saturday afternoon.

Head Coach Billy Godwin recorded his 482nd career win and 220th Pirate win against Houston on Saturday, April 123 ... Currently he ranks second all-time in the win column at ECU trailing only Gary Overton (427).

Eight pitchers with at least 13.0 innings of work have an ERA of 2.83 or lower with five having a sub-1.70 ERA ... On a national scale, the Pirates rank fifth in ERA (2.30), ninth in shutouts (6) and tied for eighth in opposing batting average (.225) ... They have allowed 92 earned runs (seventh fewest) ... ECU owns an 9-5 record in one-runs games and a 10 of its 13 losses have been run two runs or less ... With their dramatic come from behind win against Houston on Thursday night, where they erased a three-run deficit in the ninth with four consecutive two-out hits, the Pirates have 10 come from behind wins on the season ... In 26 home games the Pirates are averaging 2,922 fans per contest which ranks 16th in average attendance ... They also rank 20th nationally in overall attendance (75,981) ... Last week (April 18) ECU was 21st in the NCAA RPI rankings ... Currently they are ranked 20th by Boyd's World and 22nd by Warren Nolan ... ECU ranks 16th nationally in defensive runs per game (3.4) ... The Pirates starter's own a 2.64 ERA, while the bullpen boasts a 1.69 ERA allowing 41 runs (24 earned) in 128.0 innings.