Pirates place seven on all-conference team
PEARL, Miss. — East Carolina’s Kevin Brandt and John Wooten were named first-team All-Conference USA the league office announced Tuesday afternoon. With their selections, the Pirates (34-20-1) have had at least one player selected to the first-team for nine-straight years (2004-present).
Brandt, a two-time all-conference selection, owns a 7-5 overall record with a 1.82 ERA (20th-lowest in the nation) in 14 starts striking out 63 and walking 26. He has recorded a team-best 12 quality starts and three of his five losses have been complete game efforts, where he dropped close decisions at then No. 19 UCF (2-1), No. 7 Rice (2-0) and Southern Miss (1-0). The left-hander ranks among the league leaders in nine categories including innings pitched (1st/94.0), ERA (3rd), opposing batting average (4th/.219) and wins (t5th/7). He also led the conference in pick offs for the second time in the last three years with eight in 2012.
Wooten took home his second career league honor to go along with his all-freshman selection in 2010. During his junior campaign, Wooten leads the team in average (.336), home runs (eight), runs scored (47) and total bases (107), while ranking second in RBI (35). Currently he ranks among the league leaders in six offensive categories: runs (4th), hits (6th/72), home runs (t6th), average (9th), total bases (t9th) and slugging percentage (10th/.500).
For the second-straight year, a quartet of Pirates were named to second-team all-conference in Jharel Cotton, Drew Reynolds, Corey Thompson and Zach Wright. Cotton owns an 8-1 record leading the team and C-USA in wins, which also 42nd nationally. The St. Thomas, V.I. native has tallied 59 strikeouts to 21 walks in 67.0 innings pitched. Against Tulane he recorded a career-best 12 strikeouts topping his previous high of 11 at UCF on Mar. 25.
Reynolds, the lone league member on the John Olerud Watch List given to the nation’s top two-way player, takes home his first career C-USA yearly accolade. The Cherryville, N.C. native sports the second-best average on the team batting .328 with two home runs, seven doubles, 22 RBI, 27 runs and has recorded 18 multi-hit games. On the mound, he owns a 3-0 record in 20 appearances with 10 saves, ranking fourth in C-USA. Recently he was named to the 2012 C-USA All-Academic Team for his achievements in the classroom.
Thompson took home his third-straight second-team honor after being a preseason first-team All C-USA selection. The senior third baseman is batting .304 (66-for-217) with four home runs, 13 doubles, 35 RBI and 34 runs scored. During his four-year career, the Apex, N.C. native is batting .340 (ninth-best in school history) with 19 home runs, 42 doubles, 139 RBI and 137 runs. Last year he took home C-USA All-Tournament honors after batting a team-best. 467 (7-for-15) with a home run, seven RBI and slugging .733).
Wright, who joined Brandt and Thompson as preseason selections, takes home his second-straight second-team honor. The three-time Johnny Bench Award Watch List selection is batting .293 (55-for-188) with five home runs, 11 doubles, 36 RBI and 38 runs scored. Currently his is tied for seventh all-time on ECU’s home runs chart with 35.
Right-hander Jeff Hoffman rounded out the Pirates all-conference selections after being named to the All-Freshman Team. The Latham, N.Y. native owns a 2-1 record with a 3.32 ERA in 17 games (eight starts). Against Elon (Apr. 10), he fanned a career-best 10 batters in a career-high eight shutout frames earning him C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week honors. Six of his eight starts have been against in-state rivals including three against nationally-ranked North Carolina and N.C. State. During his rookie season, Hoffman ranked among the league leaders in opposing batting average (3rd/.208), fewest hits (4th/47), walks (5th/18), fewest runs (7th/26) and fewest earned runs (t8th/23).
The Pirates will kickoff the C-USA Championships Wednesday, May 23 when they square off with third seed Tulane at 8 p.m. (ET) at Trustmark Park.
2012 CONFERENCE USAS BASEBALL AWARDS
Jacob Wilson, Sr., 3B, Memphis
Matthew Reckling, Sr., RHP, Rice
Mason Robbins, Fr., OF/LHP, Southern Miss
Andrew Pierce, Jr., RHP, Southern Miss
KEITH LeCLAIR COACH-OF-THE-YEAR
Wayne Graham, Rice
IF – D.J. Hicks, Jr., UCF
IF – Christian Stringer, Jr., Rice
IF – Jacob Wilson, Sr., Memphis
IF – John Wooten, Jr., East Carolina
OF – Brandon Boudreaux, Jr., Tulane
OF – Adam McClain., Sr., Memphis
OF – Jeremy Rathjen, Jr., Rice
C – Jeremy Schaeffer, Sr., Tulane
DH/UT – J.T. Chargois, Jr., Rice
P – Kevin Brandt, Sr., East Carolina
P – Dan Langfield, Jr., Memphis
P – Andrew Pierce, Jr., Southern Miss
P – Matthew Reckling, Sr., Rice
RP – Joe Rogers, Sr., UCF
IF – Ashley Graeter, Sr., Southern Miss
IF – Brennan Middleton, Jr., Tulane
IF – Travis Shreve, Sr., UCF
IF – Corey Thompson, Sr., East Carolina
OF – Alex Friedrich, Sr., UCF
OF – Ronnie Richardson, Jr., UCF
OF – Nick Schneeberger, Sr., Tulane
C – Zach Wright, Sr., East Carolina
DH/UT – Drew Reynolds, So., East Carolina
P – Jharel Cotton, Jr., East Carolina
P – Ben Lively, So., UCF
P – Sam Moll, So., Memphis
P – David Napoli, Jr., Tulane
RP – D.J. Ponder, Sr., Tulane
IF – Sergio Leon, Marshall
IF – Ford Stainback, Rice
OF – Michael Pyeatt, Houston
OF – Jeff Schalk, UAB
OF – Michael Sterling, Southern Miss
OF/P – Mason Robbins, Southern Miss
P – Jeff Hoffman, East Carolina
P – Jordan Stephens, Rice
P – Jake Drehoff, Southern Miss
P – Bradley Roney, Southern Miss
P – Alex Massey, Tulane
P – Eric Skoglund, UCF