May 16, 2013
|UCF at East Carolina
May 18, 2013 | 10 a.m. (ET)
RADIO: WNCT 1070 AM
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
The Pirates have won five-straight C-USA series and currently sit in a three-way tie for third place heading into the final weekend of regular season play ... ECU has won 13 of its last 18 games, which include 8 of 10 on the road ... The Pirates completed their lone sweep in league play winning at UAB, which included using a five run seventh for a come from behind victory ... UCF enters this weekend also in a tie for third along with Rice ... Last weekend the Knights dropped their weekend series against Tulane and have dropped three on the year loosing against Southern Miss and at Memphis ... While ECU holds a commanding 20-9 record in the series, UCF has won 5 of the last 8 including 3 of 4 a year ago.
REGULAR SEASON TITLE STILL POSSIBLE
Heading into the final weekend of league play, the Pirates are still in the hunt for the 2013 regular season title ... Sitting two games behind league leader Southern Miss, ECU can capture its third regular season crown by sweeping UCF at home, and then having Houston take two games at home against Southern Miss and Marshall winning one game at Rice ... If all that happens, the Pirates will finish with a 15-9 league record and will hold the tie breaker against Southern Miss by way of their series win in Greenville a couple weeks ago.
This Friday, ECU will honor nine seniors (Bryan Bass, Jay Cannon, Philip Clark, Chris Gosik, Jake Harris, Joseph Hughes, Sam King, Andy Smithmyer and videographer Paul Pagnato) who will be playing their last weekend series in Clark-LeClair Stadium ... Also prior to Friday's contest, ECU will recognize Clark (business administration), Gosik (business finance), Harris (accounting) and Pagnato (sports studies) who all earned their bachelor's degrees in May of 2013.
PLAYING IN THE ECBL
Sunday afternoon the Pirates will hold their annual Exceptional Community Baseball League (ECBL) game at Clark-LeClair Stadium (3 p.m. ET) ... The Pirates will participate with the eight-team league with all phases of the game such as hitting, fielding and throwing ... More than the skills of baseball learned through the experience, the value of the ECBL is found in the proven therapeutic and socialization benefits of participants' self esteem, the opportunities to mainstream into other divisions of play, and the disciplines of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play which are hallmarks of the Little League program.
ODDS AND ENDS
ECU has won 5 of its last 7 home games including a pair of C-USA series wins over Memphis and Southern Miss ... Chase McDonald leads the club and C-USA with nine homers and ranks among the league leaders in RBI (41/t2nd) and slugging percentage (.506/4th) ... Zach Houchins, who is currently riding a career-best 11-game hitting streak, enters this weekends action leading C-USA in slugging percentage (.530) and doubles (18), to go along with his five home runs which ranks ninth ... Houchins also leads the club with 25 extra base hits (5 HRs, 18 doubles, 2 triples), while Dylan Brown is second with 15 (3 HRs, 10 doubles, 2 triples ... Luke Lowery (four), Jay Cannon (three), Dylan Brown (three) and Ben Fultz (two) also have multi-homers on the year ... Drew Reynolds saw his personal-best 14-game hitting streak come to an end in the series finale at Marshall after going 0-for-5 ... During the streak he batted .450 (27-for-60) with seven doubles, 10 RBI, 13 runs and 10 multi-hit games ... In league games, he batting .367 (33-for-90) ranking second ... During the Memphis series recorded nine base hits ... On the mound during this 14-game stretch, he has posted an 0-1 record with six saves in nine games ... Senior(Bryan Bass has recorded a hit in 22 of his last 26 games, which included a season-high 10 game hit streak (snapped at UAB) ... He leads the club with 17 multi-hit games on the season.
The Pirates are the C-USA leaders in slugging percentage (.380) and total bases (671), while ranking second in home runs (30), average (.274) and hits (483) ... On the flipside, ECU ranks towards the bottom of the league in ERA (3.91/7th), strikeouts (348/7th), runs allowed (245/7th) and opposing batting average (.260/6th).
Through 51 games this season, the Pirates have allowed 284 free bases to opponents (199 walks, 85 hit batters), which leads Conference USA ... ECU has outscored its opponents 258-245.
Chase McDonald earned his first career Hitter-of-the-Week honors after his productive performances at the plate led the Pirates to a 3-1 week, including a C-USA series victory over first place Southern Miss over the weekend ... McDonald batted a team-best .500 (8-for-16) with two home runs, a double, six RBI, five runs scored and added three walks and a hit by pitch ... In four games on the week, McDonald posted at least one hit, drove in at least one run and scored at least one run. He recorded three multi-hit and two multi-RBI games on the week.
Sophomore Jeff Hoffman was named to the midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List on May 2, which is given to the top amateur player ... He is one of 10 underclassmen and one of three C-USA pitchers on the list.
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 punch-outs 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 31 of 38 games behind the plate and is ranks among the team leaders with a .277 average heading into its weekend series against Southern Miss ... 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).
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.
Friday: UCF 2, ECU 0 (Final)
Saturday: ECU 10, UCF 8 (Final)
Sunday: TBD vs. Ryan Williams (RHP, 6-2, 3.96 ERA)
PIRATES TO WATCH
Hoffman Notes: Midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List (May 2) ... Leads staff with 10 quality starts ... 13th pitcher in C-USA history to work 9-plus innings in a game (9.2 at Tulane/Apr. 12) ... Picked league wins vs. UAB, USM, MAR ... Suffered C-USA losses vs. Houston, Rice and Memphis ... No decision at Tulane ... Worked 8.0 innings at Marshall allowing a run with seven punch-outs ... Allowed three runs (all earned) vs. USM in 7.0 innings with five strikeouts ... Against Memphis gave up five runs (four earned) on 12 hits with seven strikeouts in 8.1 innings ... At UAB allowed three runs (all earned) with seven strikeouts ... At Tulane allowed two runs (one earned) with six punch-outs 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) ... Other wins Illinois, St. John's and NCCU ... Fanned a season-high nine batters twice (Rice, Illinois).
Lucroy Notes: Started 12 of 13 games ... Leads the team and ranks among the C-USA leaders in fewest ER runs (16/1st), opp. BA (.180/2nd), and ERA (2.11/3rd) ... Recorded first CUSA win at UAB (Apr. 20) giving up one run in 6.1 IP with six punch-outs ... 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: Tied for team lead with six wins and is tied for sixth in C-USA ... Appeared in 16 games (13 starts) ... Picked up wins in relief at Elon (Mar. 27) and at Garnder-Webb (Apr. 30) ... 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 five quality starts.
ECU Head Coach Billy Godwin owns a career record of 543-270-1 in 14 seasons as a skipper ... At ECU he is 281-185-1 ... His 281 wins trails only ECU Hall of Famer Dr. Gary Overton, who amassed 427 wins in 13 years (1985-1997) as the Pirates' skipper.