IRVING, Texas – A pair of outstanding pitching performances this week have earned East Carolina junior LHP Kevin Brandt the Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Week award for the period ending Mar. 20 the league office announced Monday.
Brandt appeared in two games on the week, including making his second start of the season. The southpaw worked a total of 12.2 innings with 18 strikeouts, one walk and one unearned run on five hits in his two outings. Against Elon, he worked 5.2 innings of relief with six strikeouts, walked one and allowed one run (unearned) on three hits in ECU’s 4-3 extra inning win. He followed that with a career-best 12 strikeouts in 7.0 shutout innings against Rutgers in the Pirates’ weekend series sweep. Brandt faced one over the minimum (22 batters), fanned at least one hitter in all seven innings and had two punch outs in four of seven frames. It was his longest scoreless outing since his freshman season when he held No. 1 North Carolina (4/22/09) without a run over 8.1 innings in a 4-0 win. The 12 punch outs was also his third double-digit strikeout performance of his career
Joining Brandt with C-USA weekly honors was Tulane’s DH Jeremy Shaffer, who posted a hit in every game last week – and has now hit in six straight – with at least one extra base hit in the final four games of last week. He had 13 hits in 24 at-bats (.542), drove in at least one RBI in three of the five games (totaling six), collected multiple hits in four of the five games and scored nine runs. Schaffer had four hits and four runs scored in the win over Alcorn State, missing the cycle by only failing to homer. For the season, he has raised his batting average to .418, his slugging percentage to .633 and now has a league-high 15 doubles on the season.
Brandt is the second Pirate to C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week accolades this season following Seth Maness’ (Mar. 7) complete game shutout performance against Pepperdine on March 4.
The Pirates will take some time off during the week before returning to the diamond on March 25 when they play host to Memphis opening up league play.