Baseball Game 4: Illinois at East Carolina (Feb. 21 at 5 P.M.)

Illinois at East Carolina
Feb. 21, 2013 | 5 p.m. (EST)
Greenville, N.C.

RADIO: WNCT 1070 AM

Watch | GametrackerLive Stats | Game Notes ECU Notes | Game NotesIllinois Notes | Game NotesC-USA Notes | Tickets | Gameday Central

Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium

KEITH LeCLAIR CLASSIC
• The Pirates will play host to the 10th Annual Keith LeClair Classic this weekend when they welcome in Boston College, Illinois, New Mexico State and Ohio … ECU owns a 20-7 all-time record in the annual event and has claimed the title four times, most recently in 2010.

Tournament Cental

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
• East Carolina is still searching for its first win of the 2013 season … Heading into the LeClair Classic, the Pirates (0-3) dropped a pair of games to No. 25 Virginia (14-4, 13-9) before falling to Campbell on Tuesday, 6-4 … The 0-3 start is just the second since 1966 and the first since the 1994 campaign.

• 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.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Thursday: Kevin Johnson (RHP, 1-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Jeff Hoffman (RHP, 0-1, 7.71 ERA)
Friday: Adam Mott (RHP, 0-0, 3.38 ERA) vs. Ryan Williams (RHP, 0-0, 4.50 ERA)
Saturday: John Gorman (RHP, 0-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. David Lucroy (RHP, 0-1, 99.00 ERA)

PIRATES TO WATCH
Hoffman Notes: 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 … Freshman All C-USA selection … C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week (4/16) … Tossed career-high eight shutout innings with a career-best 10 strikeouts in last outing at Elon (4/10) … Had scoreless outings vs. No. 10 UNC (4/25) and UNCW (4/3) … Three starts were against nationally-ranked teams … Ranked among C-USA leaders in Opp. BA (5th), fewest Hs (t6th), fewest BBs (t6th) fewest Rs (10th) … Among the NCAA leaders in WHIP (88th/1.10) and Hits per 9 innings (92nd/7.33).

Williams Notes: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 … Helped the Vikings to a 41-32 two-year record … Posted an 8-4 record with a 2.20 ERA and three complete games … Worked 98.1 innings striking out 64 and walking just nine … Golden Glove winner.

Lucroy Notes: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 the summer of 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 … Struck out 24 while walking 12 in 25.0 innings … Selected in the 29th round (pick 881) of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Amateur Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers … Named 2010 Honorable Mention All-America by Perfect Game … Brother Jonathan is the starting catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers and was named to the 2013 USA World Baseball Classic Roster.

• Junior Jack Reinheimer leads the Pirates with a .571 (8-for-14) average while slugging .786… Recorded multiple hits in all three games thus far including a four-hit performance against Campbell (Feb. 19) … Belted his third career home run and second career round tripper on opening day against No. 25 Virginia … Started 114 consecutive games at shortstop … Extended current streak of games reached base to 23.

• Junior Drew Reynolds (5-for-12) and senior Bryan Bass (5-for-12) are tied for second on the team with a .471 batting average … Heading into the season, Reynolds picked up preseason Second-Team CollegeBaseballInsider.com Louisville Slugger All-American, First-Team All Conference USA (by league coaches) and NCBWA Stopper-of-the-Year Watch List honors … He as two multi-hit games on the young season as the Pirates designated hitter … On the mound, Reynolds struggled against No. 25 Virginia working 1.1 innings allowing five runs (one earned) on five hits with two walks … Bass, one of four senior captains, has started all three games at second base recording nine putouts and eight assists … He has a pair of multi-hit games with three RBI and has scored a pair of runs.

NEWCOMERS IMPACT
• Junior Ryan Williams was solid in his Pirate debut against nationally-ranked Virginia working six innings where he allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits with a pair of strikeouts and three walks in his first start … Through five innings he did not allow a run facing no more than four batters in a frame and retired the side in order in the first and fifth frames … In the sixth he allowed a pair of runs (one earned) on two hits, a walk and a Pirate error … He trotted out to the mound in the seventh, but lasted just two batters after allowing a single and a double to start the stanza … Both of his punch outs were swinging to start the first and second innings.

• A pair of freshmen recorded starts during the opening weekend against Virginia … Catcher Travis Watkins has made three starts behind the plate where he is batting .400 (4-for-10) with two multi-hit games, two RBI and one run scored … Outfielder Garrett Brooks started both contests in centerfield for the Pirates during the opening weekend … Currently he is batting .111 (1-for-9) with a run scored and a walk … He recorded his first collegiate hit on Friday afternoon in the third frame with a single to right field.

• Along with Brooks, Watkins and Williams, six other players made their Pirate debuts over the weekend (OF Dylan Brown, 3B Zach Houchins, C Luke Lowery, RHP David Lucroy, RHP Brett Mabry and RHP Hayden White).

SERIES HISTORY
• ECU’s opening game on Thursday night against Illinois will be the second meeting between the two schools … Back in 2010, ECU claimed a 7-5 win during the Keith LeClair Classic … Friday’s game against New Mexico State and Saturday’s contest with Boston College will mark the first between the schools.

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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