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Don't miss Al Myatt's profile of ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in the 2004 Bonesville Magazine.

View from the East
Monday, January 10, 2005

By Al Myatt

Baseball America sleight ruffles feathers

Bonesville Magazine

• PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact

• Recruit Profiles
• Rookie Books
• Tracking the Classes
• Florida Pipeline
• NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again


• STEVE BALLARD: New Leader Takes Charge

• SCOTT COWEN: Busting Down the Door

• KEITH LECLAIR on ECU's Field of Dreams

• BETH GRANT: Actress Still a Pirate


The unusually warm weather makes it seem that baseball season should be at hand and, in fact, it is. East Carolina will open practice either Saturday or Monday — within a week — according to Pirates baseball coach Randy Mazey.

The season opener is one month from tomorrow, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. at College of Charleston.

The Pirates coach said the timing of the start of workouts will depend on weather and a few details regarding the completion of ECU's new state-of-the-art baseball stadium.

The opening game at the new facility located at the former site of Harrington Field will be against Michigan on Friday, March 4, at 11 a.m.

Even without the anticipation of the new stadium this has been an offseason of great significance for the ECU coach.

In July, the board of trustees bumped his annual salary to $100,000 and extended his contract through 2008.

And personally, Mazey made a big catch when he wed WITN-TV 7 television personality Amanda Ross in Nevada last week. They're planning a backpacking honeymoon in Alaska in August.

Mazey and new wife have returned to Greenville, and although Amanda won't likely be writing Baseball America a thank you-note, the Durham-based publication gave Mazey a wedding present without realizing it.

The gift from BA amounts to a motivational chip that will fight nicely on the shoulders of personnel in the ECU program.

The Pirates were omitted from Baseball America's preseason Top 50 although ECU has made the NCAA Tournament the last six seasons.


East Carolina baseball coach Randy Mazey and Baseball America's Will Kimmey were guests on Talk 1070's Bonesville Power Hour during the Pirates' fall practice.

Replay the audio archive of that program 

BA writer Will Kimmey has indicated that the Pirates lost enough star power from last year's school record 51-win season to significantly affect competitiveness — in his analysis — in 2005. (Replay the audio archive of Kimmey's comments from the Oct. 13 edition of The Bonesville Power Hour.)

Mazey sounded a little perturbed at ECU's absence from the preseason poll.

"Our focus will once again be earning respect," Mazey said. "We've been given a lack of respect. We weren't even ranked in Baseball America's Top 50. That gives us plenty of fuel.

"In their absent-mindedness, Baseball America has really done us a favor."

Another publication, Collegiate Baseball, has ECU ranked No. 32 nationally. The Pirates, who have brought in seven freshmen and one junior college transfer, also received a No. 29 ranking among 2004 recruiting classes by Collegiate Baseball.

New dimensions

Sources have indicated that the price tag on the new baseball stadium may approach $10 million because of rising costs of construction, but a small step has been taken to eliminate cheap home runs.

That involved moving home plate back 10 feet.

"That moves the distance down the foul lines back six feet (to about 326 feet)," Mazey said. "Straightaway center will be 10 feet farther (about 420 feet). (Moving the plate) had a lot to do with getting as close to the fans as possible to enhance the atmosphere. It's also been known as a home run park and we wanted to eliminate the cheap home run as much as we could."

Hurlers mending

Pitchers Carter Harrell, Jason Neitz and Brody Taylor are all coming back from offseason surgery.

"We are going to try to survive a difficult early schedule until we can get everybody back," Mazey said.

Harrell (5-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 2004), Neitz (0-0, 6.00) and Taylor (8-0, 4.64) are all potentially important arms as ECU opens with nine straight games on the road. There are 23 games on the 2005 schedule against 12 teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season.


Mazey said that John Emmert, a left-hander who was 0-0 with a 7.36 ERA in three appearances as a freshman last season, has left the program.


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02/23/2007 12:32:55 AM

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