Baseball Games 42-44: Memphis at East Carolina
April 26, 2013
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
This weekend is also Baseball Letterwinners Weekend ... ECU will recognize over 30 former players prior to the start of Saturday's game ... Scheduled to attend are Hall of Famers: Cotton Clayton, Larry Crayton, Winfred Johnson, Monte Little (coach), Rooster Narron, Dr. Gary Overton (coach/player) and Jimmy Raynor ... Members of the 1961 NAIA National Championship Team: Earl Boykin, Wally Cockrell, Jay Edwards, Charlie Johnson and Floyd Wicker will join Clayton and Crayton ... Members of the 1963 NAIA club that finished third nationally: Bob Kaylor and Roger Hedgecock ... Also scheduled to attend are Dennis Barbour, Jimmy Byrd, Brian Cavanaugh, Frank Ceruzzi, Heath Clark, Terry Durham, Fran Fitzgerald, Steve Fornash, Rick Glover, Darryl Lawhorn, Tom Moye, Cory Scott, Wilbur Thompson, Jack Wallace and Ted Whitley ... Finally in attendance will be three members of the current ECU baseball staff in Austin Homan, Ben Sanderson and Ryan Wood.
ODDS AND ENDS
Heading into this weeks action, the Pirates rank fifth in Conference USA with a .262 batting average, while also ranking among the league leaders in home runs (25/t1st), slugging percentage (.365/2nd), hits (369/2nd), total bases (513/2nd) and RBI (181/t4th) ... On the flipside, ECU ranks towards the bottom of the league in ERA (4.15/7th), strikeouts (281/t5th), runs allowed (203/7th) and opposing batting average (.259/8th).
Through 41 games this season, the Pirates have allowed 231 free bases to opponents (161 walks, 70 hit batters), which leads Conference USA ... ECU has been outscored by its opponents 203-202.
Junior Drew Reynolds became the third Pirate hurler to take home Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Week honors with his selection on Apr. 15 ... He notched a pair of wins over the weekend helping ECU to a series win on the road at Tulane ... Reynolds, who improved to 3-1 on the season, earned his first victory Friday night in the Pirates' 3-2 win in 13 innings ... The right-hander tossed 3.1 perfect innings of relief, tying his career-high in strikeouts with six - the same number that starter Jeff Hoffman had in his 9.2 innings of work ... He picked up the series-clinching win Sunday, tossing 1.2 scoreless innings where he struck out two in ECU's 4-2 victory ... In two games on the weekend, he tallied 5.0 scoreless frames with eight punchouts and two walks ... On the season he owns a team-best 1.44 ERA in 16 appearances with six saves, 26 strikeouts, 12 walks and has allowed eight runs (four earned) on 17 hits in 25.0 innings pitched.
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: Leads staff with eight quality starts ... Became the 13th pitcher in C-USA history to work 9-plus innings in a game when he tossed a career-best 9.2 innings at Tulane (Apr. 12) ... Notched first league win at UAB (Apr. 19) allowing three runs (all earned) with seven strikeouts ... At Tulane allowed two runs (one earned) with six punchouts in a no-decision ... Struck out nine in 8.2 innings against No. 18 Rice (Apr. 5) ... Allowed three runs (all unearned) on eight hits 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) ... Also posted wins against Illinois (Feb. 21), St. John's (Mar. 1) and NC Central ... Suffered losses against No. 18 Rice, at No. 28 Houston (Mar. 22), at Jacksonville (Mar. 15) and in the season opener against No. 25 Virginia (Feb. 15) ... Recorded a no-decision against Monmouth (Mar. 8) ... Fanned a season-high nine batters twice (Rice, Monmouth).
Lucroy Notes: Started 9 of 10 games ... Leads the team and ranks among the C-USA leaders in opp. BA (.184/4th), fewest ER runs (12/6th) and ERA (2.01/7th) ... Recorded first C-USA win at UAB (Apr. 20) giving up one run in 6.1 IP with six punchouts ... Allowed two runs against Rice in seven innings ... Posted 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 strikeouts ... Collegiate debut vs. No. 25 UVA ... Has seven quality starts on the season.
Williams Notes: Leads team with five wins and is tied for sixth in C-USA ... Appeared in 12 games (10 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 work at Campbell (Mar. 13) along with Elon ... First win of ECU career vs BC allowing a run with five strikeouts ... Has four quality starts.
ECU Head Coach Billy Godwin owns a career record of 536-267-1 in 14 season as a skipper ... At ECU he is 274-182-1 ... His 274 wins trails only ECU Hall of Famer Dr. Gary Overton, who amassed 427 wins in 13 years (1985-1997) as the Pirates' skipper.