The Pirates enter the weekend as winners of seven of their last eight games, and look to continue that streak against the Monmouth Hawks (N.J.) in a three-game series in Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Monmouth visits Greenville with a 2-5 record on the year, having yet to play a home game. The Hawks lost a weekend series against the Delaware Blue Hens last weekend, falling 11-4 and 5-4 to the Blue Hens before winning 7-3 to open the series. Monmouth also previously played the No. 2-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores, losing three straight games (5-1, 11-1 and 13-1).
Outfielder Steve Wilgus leads the Hawks on offense, batting .286 with a home run and three RBIs. He is the only Monmouth player to hit a home run this season. Monmouth’s Kyle Perry leads the team with five RBIs and three doubles with a .276 batting average. The Hawks only have four batters with a batting average over .250, two of which having less than 20 at bats.
Monmouth will most likely use a starting pitching rotation of T.J Hunt
(1-1, 3.68 ERA and seven strikeouts in 7.2 innings pitched), Andrew McGee (1-1, 4.40 ERA and five strikeouts in 14.1 IP) and Jonathan Shippee (0-1, 6.35 ERA in 5.1 IP). SMITH could also make an appearance as he is the only Hawk’s pitcher, other than McGee, to throw for more than ten innings.
For ECU (7-4), the focus will be on the mound. The Pirate pitchers have struggled in certain aspects, specifically allowing runners to take free bases on walks and hit batters. ECU pitchers have given up 55 walks and hit 22 batters in 11 games. If the Pirates continue to hit batters at this rate, the team will break the NCAA record for most hit batters in a single season (90).
Expect Jeff Hoffman (2-1, 3.44 ERA and 18 strikeouts), Ryan Williams (2-0, 1.71 ERA and eight strikeouts) and David Lucroy (1-1, 2.38 ERA and 12 strikeouts) to make the weekend starts for the Pirates.