College Sports in the Carolinas
Don't miss Al Myatt's
profile of ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in the 2004
from the East
January 10, 2005
By Al Myatt
Baseball America sleight
WHERE TO BUY...
PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact
INSIDE PIRATE FOOTBALL
Tracking the Classes
NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again
HIGH HOPES FOR HOOPS
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
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.
BONESVILLE POWER HOUR
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
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
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."
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.
Send an e-mail message to Al Myatt.
Click here to dig into Al Myatt's Bonesville
02/23/2007 12:32:55 AM