ECU player is C-USA preseason co-player of the year

GREENVILLE - This is a news release from East Carolina University:

East Carolina senior Drew Reynolds has been named Conference USA Co-Player-of-the-Year the league announced today, as chosen by its 13 head coaches. Reynolds becomes the third Pirate since 2002 (ECU's first year in C-USA) to garner preseason player-of-the-year honors following Darryl Lawhorn (2004) and Seth Maness (2009).

The Pirates top utility player the last two seasons, Reynolds earned Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger Second-Team All-America and First-Team All-Conference USA honors a year ago after leading ECU with a .322 average and 68 hits, while ranking second with 13 doubles and fourth with 30 runs scored. On the mound the Cherryville, N.C. native posted a 3-2 record with a 2.92 ERA and recorded a league and team-best 14 saves, which also ranked 14th nationally.

Reynolds, who is expected to see time at second base and as the closer again in 2014, has garnered preseason All-America honors by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (first-team) and Collegiate Baseball (second-team), as well as first-team all-league accolades by Perfect Game.

Hoffman joins Reynolds as a First-Team All C-USA selection marking the seventh-straight year with multiple selections for the Pirates. The junior right-hander has also been named to a pair of preseason All-America squads with his first-team selection by Perfect Game and third-team honor from Collegiate Baseball. Hoffman, who has been tabbed at as a the number two prospect in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft by Baseball America and Perfect Game, has been named preseason C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Year by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game.

As a sophomore in 2013, Hoffman went 6-7 with a 3.20 ERA earning Second-Team All C-USA honors. The Latham, N.Y. native led the Pirates in quality starts (11), innings pitched (109 2/3), strikeouts (84) and quality starts (11), while ranking second in walk-to-strikeout ratio (0.46). The right-hander earned C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week accolades for the second time in his career after tossing a complete game, one-hit shutout against North Carolina Central (Mar. 29).

This past summer Hoffman spent his second-straight season playing for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks of Cape Cod League, where he was named the 2013 Robert A. McNeece Award winner for Outstanding Pro Prospect. He posted a 2-0 record with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. In four starts he fanned 33 batters, held his opponents to a .217 composite average and posted a 0.15 walk-to-strikeout ration.

His finest start of the summer came July 17 against Orleans, in which he threw 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball, scattering three hits, walking one and striking out 11 batters. The performance was enough to earn him Coca-Cola Pitcher-of-the-Week honors.

For the sixth-straight year, ECU was tabbed as a preseason Top-3 pick, when the league coaches picked them third in 2014. Rice, who garnered 12 first place votes, is the leagues favorite followed by new member Florida Atlantic with Southern Miss and Tulane rounding out the Top-5.

Conference USA's 19th baseball season gets underway on February 14. The conference tournament is scheduled for May 21-25 in Hattiesburg, Miss. C-USA's baseball schools have produced 73 NCAA appearances and 10 College World Series teams over the past 18 seasons.

(as selected by C-USA's head coaches)

1. Rice (12)
2. Florida Atlantic
3. East Carolina
4. Southern Miss
5. Tulane (1)
6. FIU
8. Charlotte
9. Middle Tennessee
10. Old Dominion
11. UAB
12. Marshall
13. Louisiana Tech

 (first place votes in parentheses)

Drew Reynolds, East Carolina (Senior, DH/RHP)
Aramis Garcia, FIU (Junior, Catcher)

Zech Lemond, Rice (Junior, Right-hander)

P – Austin Gomber – Jr. – Florida Atlantic
P – Jeff Hoffman – Jr. – East Carolina
P – Jordan Stephens – Jr. – Rice
RP – Zech Lemond – Jr. – Rice
C – Aramis Garcia – Jr. – FIU
IF – Brad Elwood – Jr. – Charlotte
IF – Shane Hoelscher – Sr. – Rice
IF – R.J. Perucki – Sr. – UTSA
IF – Edwin Rios – So. – FIU
OF – Michael Aquino – Sr. – Rice
OF – Josh Eldridge – Jr. – Old Dominion
OF – Ryan Stephens – Sr. – Middle Tennessee
OF – Mason Robbins – Jr. – Southern Miss
DH/UT – Drew Reynolds – Sr. – East Carolina

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