The Pirates (3-4) took a big step back in the loss to Liberty, after winning three straight games in the Keith LeClair Classic. The weakness in ECU's bullpen was evident, as the Pirates used 10 pitchers with none lasting more than two innings.
But ECU has a chance to right the ship against the Red Storm (1-7), coming off of an 18-5 loss to No.1 North Carolina. St. John's has only scored more than three runs three times this season, with its only win coming against Georgia Tech in the second game of a three-game series. On average, the Red Storm is being outscored by over five runs a game.
Outfielder Martin Kelly (.385 batting average, 10 hits, 4 runs and 3 RBIs) leads St. John's offensive attack. Only four players have a batting average over .250 for the Red Storm, two of which with less than 10 at bats. The team's combined batting average sits at .202 so far this season.
St. John's pitching unit has had five players start this season. The most likely weekend starters are James Lomangino (1.50 ERA, 12 innings pitched, 10 hits and four runs), Ryan McCormick (2.70 ERA, 10 innings pitched, nine hits and three runs) and Sean Hagan (4.97 ERA, 12.2 innings pitched, 12 hits and seven runs). All have made two starts, with Hagan (1-1) recording the lone win of the group.
The Pirates enter the game with several batters playing well. Shortstop Jack Reinheimer is batting .440 with one homerun and two RBIs, followed by Bryan Bass with a .407 average and three RBIs. Chase McDonald leads the team with seven RBIs and all ECU batters with over 20 at bats have over a .250 batting average.
ECU will most likely go with Jeff Hoffman (3.97 ERA, 11.1 innings pitched, 10 hits and five runs), Ryan Williams (2.08 ERA, 13 innings pitched, 12 hits and five runs) and David Lucroy (1.80 ERA, five innings pitched, three hits and one run) as its starting pitchers for this series.
Relief pitcher Jake Harris has played very well, leading the team with four appearances and boasting a 0.00 ERA in 6.2 innings of work. Look for Harris and utility man Drew Reynolds to be working in relief for the Pirates.
The first game of the series is set to begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1. The following games are on Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, at 1 p.m.