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Pirates’ closer Mathews is slamming the door on everybody

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Shane “Lights Out” Mathews has been nothing short of spectacular for the East Carolina Pirates.
The junior closer has played a pivotal role in why the Pirates (20-6, 3-0 Conference USA) have a nation’s-best 14-game winning streak. He’s been involved with 10 of those wins, racking up two victories and five saves in the process.
It sure seems like Mathews has had his “stuff” of late. For the season, Mathews is 2-2 with eight saves, tied for fourth best in a single season by a Pirate, and a 1.64 ERA. He’s allowed five runs (four earned) on just seven hits while striking out 31 and walking 10 in 22 innings.
He’s had a couple hiccups along the way, most notably in a 9-7 loss to UCLA on Feb. 17. Mathews gave up a grand slam to Brandon Crawford in the eighth inning, which allowed the Bruins to take the win.
Other than that, it’s been smooth sailing for the Pirate closer.
Mathews picked up the win in ECU’s 11-10 win in 10 innings over UNC-Wilmington on Wednesday. He went 2 2/3 innings and struck out three while walking one.
It was just another dominant performance by Mathews. Since giving up an unearned run on two hits and suffering the loss in a 5-4 setback to N.C. State, Mathews has flourished.
In his last 10 appearances, Mathews hasn’t allowed a run and has given up just one hit in 14 innings of work. He has struck out 20 and walked five in the process.
ECU puts its 14-game winning streak on the line tonight at Tulane. The Pirates and Green Wave are tied atop the Conference USA standings with 3-0 marks.
Mathews has certainly done his part.
When he enters the game, it has been lights out for the opponent.
Saves
Single-season records
22 — Cory Scott (1999-00)
10 — Kevyn Fulcher (1999)
9 — Greg Bunn (2003)
8 — Will Brinson (2001)
8 — Shane Mathews (2007)
Saves
Career records
23 — Cory Scott (1999-00)
16 — Greg Bunn (2002-04)
12 — Kevyn Fulcher (1996-99)
11 — Will Brinson (2000-03)
10 — Neal Sears (2000-03)
9 — Shane Mathews (2004-07)