East Carolina’s Chase McDonald and Drew Reynolds were named First-Team All-Conference USA the league office announced Tuesday afternoon. With their selections, the Pirates (30-24) have had at least one player selected to the first-team for 10-straight years (2004-present).
McDonald earned his first post-season accolade since being named to the league’s all-freshman team in 2011. The Greenville, N.C. native led the league in home runs (11), RBI (45) and slugging percentage (.528), while batting .295 in 50 starts at first base. McDonald earned his first career Hitter-of-the-Week honors after batting a team-best .500 (8-for-16) with two home runs and six RBI in the Pirates series win over Southern Miss.
Reynolds, a second-team selection a year ago, is batting a team-best .313 (62-for-198) with 12 doubles, 21 RBI and 28 runs scored. On the mound the Cherryville, N.C. native owns a 3-2 record with a 2.79 ERA and a C-USA best 13 saves, which also ranks among the top 20 nationally.
A trio of Pirates took home second-team honors in Jeff Hoffman (RHP), Zach Houchins (3B) and David Lucroy (RHP). Hoffman posted a 6-6 record as the Pirates top starter this season tossing a league second-best 104.1 innings with a 2.85 ERA. The sophomore from Latham, N.Y. earned C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week honors following his one-hit complete game shutout against N.C. Central with seven strikeouts. He has worked into the eighth inning eight times with a career-best 9.2 innings at Tulane on April 2.
Houchins picked up his first C-USA accolade as one of four infielders on the second squad. The Wilson, N.C. native ranked among the league leaders in doubles (2nd/18), slugging percentage (4th/.514), RBI (t6th/38) and home runs (9th/5). The junior saw his career-best 13-game hit streak come to an end in the regular season finale against UCF. During his streak he batted .471 (24-for-51) with nine doubles, 15 RBI, 12 runs and six multi-hit games.
Lucroy, who also earned all-freshman team honors, sported a 4-1 record with a 2.70 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). The right-hander from Umatilla, Fla. ranked among the league leaders in fewest hits allowed (2nd/46), opposing batting average (2nd/.190), fewest runs (t4th/28), earned runs (5th/21) and ERA (10th). He earned C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week honors following his two-hit complete game shutout against Monmouth where he fanned a career-high 12 batters.
Catcher Travis Watkins rounded out the Pirates all-conference selections after being named to the All-Freshman Team along with Lucroy. The Concord, N.C. native owns a .275 (28-for-102) average during his rookie season with four doubles, 16 RBI and nine runs scored. He started 33 of 42 games behind the plate throwing out 13 base runners and posting eight multi-hit contests.
The Pirates will kickoff the C-USA Championships on Thursday, May 23 when they square off against sixth seed Houston at 12 noon (ET) at Reckling Park.
2013 CONFERENCE USA BASEBALL AWARDS
Chris Taladay, Sr., 3B, UCF
Erik Schoenrock, Jr., LHP, Memphis