THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
• The Pirates will look to rebound from a 14-4 set back at the hands of Liberty earlier this week giving them four losses in their first seven games matching the 2008 campaign … The loss to the Flames was the second in midweek action this year for the Pirates to a Big South opponent following Campbell’s 6-4 victory on Feb. 19 … St. John’s enters the weekend with a 1-7 record and has spent the last eight days down south playing a three-game series at Georgia Tech and midweek contest at North Carolina … During the stretch they have posted a 1-3 record picking up a 9-7 win over the Yellow Jackets in the second game of the doubleheader.
• ECU was picked third in the 2013 Conference USA preseason poll after going 13-10-1 in league play a season ago, finishing in sixth.
• Stepping onto the diamond are 12 new faces, which consists of junior college transfers Dylan Brown (Gulf Coast Community), Zach Houchins (Louisburg) and Ryan Williams (West Valley College), as well as nine true freshmen: Garrett Brooks, Joe Brooks, NIck Durazo, Luke Lowery, Kyle Majette, Andrew Schorr, Justin Taylor, Travis Watkins and Hayden White … Nine of the Pirates 12 new faces have seen action in 2013.
• In the eight-game series, which dates back to 1997, the two teams have met on the diamond eight times with each team claiming four wins … The Pirates won the first ever game with the Red Storm cruising to an 18-2 win in Greenville … However, St. John’s has taken two of the last three meetings – all of which have been in NCAA Regional action … In 2011, the Pirates were the No. 2 seed in the Charlottesville Regional and dropped the opening game to the Red Storm (No. 3 seed), 2-0 … ECU would play out of the loser’s bracket and eliminated St. John’s 6-4 before falling to host Virginia in the regional finals … Last year, the two teams met again in post-season play, this time in the Chapel Hill Regional with St. John’s rolling to an 11-3 win and eventually landing in the Tucson Super Regional after eliminating No. 4 National Seed North Carolina.
Friday: James Lomangion (RHP, 0-1, 1.50 ERA) vs. Jeff Hoffman (1-1, 3.97 ERA)
Saturday: Sean Hagen (LHP, 1-1, 4.97 ERA) vs. Ryan Williams (RHP, 1-0, 2.08 ERA)
Sunday: Ryan McCormick (RHP, 0-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. David Lucroy (RHP, 0-1, 1.80 ERA)
PIRATES TO WATCH
• Hoffman Notes: Evened his record to 1-1 against Illinois (Feb. 21) where he allowed just one run (earned) on six hits in 6.2 innings … Fanned a season-high nine batters and recorded at least one punch out in four of six full frames including the side in the sixth … Seven of his nine strikeouts were of the swinging kind including four in a row – all three in sixth and first batter of the seventh … At one point, he retired nine straight Illinois batters before giving up a single in the sixth with two outs … Suffered loss on opening day to No. 25 Virginia allowing four runs (all earned) on four hits with four walks and seven strikeouts … Rated as the No. 3 sophomore prospect by Baseball America … Listed as the 57th best player in college baseball by College Baseball Today in 2012 .
• Notched first win of ECU career against Boston College (Feb. 23) allowing one run (unearned) on six hits with five strikeouts … Made ECU debut on Feb. 16 against No. 25 Virginia working six innings, where he allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts … Junior College transfer from West Valley College … Two-time All-Golden Gate Conference selection … Golden Glove winner.
• Tossed five scoreless innings in his first collegiate start against NMSU (Feb. 25) … Allowed three hits with three walks, while fanning three … Made collegiate debut against No. 25 Virginia coming out of the bullpen to face one batter … Redshirted during initial year of the program … Played for the Morehead City Marlins of the Coastal Plain League in 2012 … Posted a 2-1 record with a 2.16 ERA … Appeared in five games making four starts … Allowed 10 runs (six earned) on 17 hits … Fanned 24 while walking 12 in 25.0 IP … Selected in the 29th round (pick 881) of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Amateur Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers … Brother Jonathan is the starting catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers and was named to the 2013 USA World Baseball Classic Roster.
• Senior second baseman Bryan Bass enters this weekend with an eight-game hitting streak dating back to the 2012 season … After winning the starting job at second during fall camp, Bass has started all seven games and is batting a team second-best .407 (11-for-27) as the Pirates leadoff hitter … He currently leads the squad with five walks and sports a .500 on-base percentage, which also leads Conference USA.
• Fellow middle infielder Jack Reinheimer leads Conference USA with a .440 (11-for-25) average, while ranking fifth in slugging (.560) and tied for fifth in hits … In four of his six games he has registered multiple hits and collected a team-high four base knocks against Campbell (Feb. 19).
• Junior utility man Drew Reynolds is batting .286 (8-for-28) with an RBI and five runs scored on the young season … He has posted three multi-hit games, which is tied for second on the club … On the mound he sports a 1.93 ERA with four punch outs in 4.2 innings … Picked up a pair of saves in the LeClair Classic working 3.1 scoreless frames … In the LeClair Classic finale, Reynolds entered the game in the eighth with one out and the bases loaded getting a pair of ground outs to Zach Houchins at third to end the threat … Reynolds surrendered a pair of hits in the ninth, but also fanned two Aggies before recording the final out on a fielder’s choice for his second save in as many games …
• Senior left-hander Jake Harris has appeared in a team-best four games tossing 6.2 scoreless innings allowing eight hits and striking out five.