Diamond Pirates conclude home slate against Delaware State
Seven seniors to be honored on Saturday
Following a mid-week shutout of Wake Forest, East Carolina will play its final regular season series at Clark-LeClair Stadium when it host non-conference foe Delaware State for a three-game set over the weekend.
The Pirates (31-17, 11-10), who are coming off a 9-0 drubbing of the Demon Deacons, have won four of their last five and are seeking to build upon that momentum before heading into their final league series at Tulane next weekend.
East Carolina, which has won with pitching and defense for the most of the year, recorded 16 hits in its win over Wake Forest and its team batting average is up to .288. The Pirates’ shutout of the Deacs was their seventh of the season.
After the offensive outburst against WFU, East Carolina’s line-up features five players hitting above .300. Part-time starter Philip Clark is hitting a club-high .330 and has stolen a team-high 11 bases. Corey Thompson, who is batting .316, leads the team in RBI (35). Senior centerfielder Trent Whitehead, who leads the team with 15 doubles, is hitting .307. Jack Reinheimer and Chase McDonald are at .305 and .301, respectively.
ECU’s pitching staff still ranks ninth nationally with an ERA of 2.62 despite it battling through some rotation changes and injuries in recent weeks.
Mike Wright (4-3, 3.27) has struggled some since taking over the Friday night role for Seth Maness. Wright allowed six runs—all earned—on nine hits last weekend against Marshall when he lasted just four innings. Opponents are hitting just .233 against the tall righty.
Southpaw Kevin Brandt (5-3, 2.52), who has settled into the Saturday spot in the rotation, has surrendered just 60 hits in 71.1 innings.
Seth Maness (6-3, 2.28), who has started on Sunday the last two weeks, boasts a tremendous strikeout to walk ratio of 63 to 13.
The bullpen is led by veteran righty Brad Mincey. Mincey (5-2, 0.88) has made 24 of his 25 appearances in relief.
Delaware State, which competes in the MEAC, will bring a 24-24 mark to Greenville. The Hornets come to town fresh off a 14-1 win at Navy on Wednesday. They dropped three at Bethune-Cookman last weekend.
DSU, which is hitting .299 as a team, is led at the plate by Scott Davis. Davis, who leads the team with 17 doubles, is hitting .439 and has only struck out 14 times.
Tony Drummond, Keith Hernandez and Cameron Cecil are other Hornets hitting above .300. Drummond, who has a team-high four triples, is a perfect 15-of-15 in stolen bases. Hernandez and Cecil are at .310 and .301, respectively. Hernandez is tied for second in RBI (35) while Cecil is tied for first in homers (4).
The Hornets have struggled on the mound (5.33 ERA) and defensively (.954 FLD%).
6’3” junior righty Jordan Elliot has been the Friday night starter. Elliot, who is 5-4 with a 4.30 ERA, has struck out 56 and walked 28 in 83.2 innings. Matt McClain (4-7, 4.56) and Elliot Gardner (4-6, 5.65) round out the DSU rotation.