Diamond Pirates begin pivotal stretch run with High Point
Panthers will visit Clark-LeClair Stadium on Tuesday night
Following three close losses in a sweep at struggling Southern Miss, Billy Godwin and East Carolina begin the final week of the regular season in a precarious position.
While the Pirates (32-19-1, 13-10-1) are currently 25th in the RPI released by the NCAA (http://www.ncaa.com), they probably need to win at least three or four more games to feel any sense of security on selection Monday—May 28—when the Road To Omaha’s Field of 64 is unveiled on ESPN.
ECU, which is currently fourth in CUSA, could finish anywhere from third to sixth depending on what transpires this weekend.
Third-place Tulane, which swept the Pirates in Greenville, travels to Marshall. Meanwhile, Southern Miss will meet UAB in Birmingham and Memphis heads to Houston.
The Pirates, who are the only team that’s completed league play, will play non-conference contests against High Point, VMI, and VCU. ECU suffered blowout defeats against the Panthers and Rams earlier this season. However, the match-up with the Keydets will mark the first with VMI since 1981.
High Point, which comes into the game at 24-27 overall, snapped a nine-game losing streak with its 13-11 win in its series finale’ against Liberty on Sunday.
However, don’t expect the Pirates to be looking past the Panthers, as HPU hammered ECU, 10-2, in High Point back on March 21. John Wooten and Drew Reynolds had two-hit games for the Diamond Bucs, who were outhit, 12-7, and committed four errors. Mike Miedzianowski had three hits to lead four Panthers with multi-hit games. Jared Avidon (1-5, 8.65) allowed just two runs—one earned—on five hits in seven innings while the Pirates used nine pitchers.
HPU, who hits just .269 as a team, is led at the plate by Sal Pezzino. Pezzino, who is second on the team with 14 doubles, is hitting .362. Ryne Rush, who is at .348, tops the team in hits (64), doubles (16), and rbi (34).
Head coach Craig Cozart will start seldom used redshirt senior southpaw Nick Schumacher. Schumacher, who has appeared in ten games this season, will be making his first career start. He has allowed eight runs—four earned—on 15 hits in 7.1 innings and opponents are hitting .385 against him.
East Carolina will start ace Kevin Brandt (6-5, 1.88). Brandt, who turned in his third complete game on Friday against Southern Miss, won’t be extended in this contest due to the quick turnaround.
CUSA-fans.com will have a recap of the High Point game and a look at the weekend match-ups with VMI and VCU on Wednesday.