The baseball season may be over but
East Carolina coach Billy Godwin hasn't stopped working. The Pirate
skipper flew to Philadelphia on Thursday night to start a nine-day
Asked if he planned to visit Mike
Trout, an ECU signee who went in the first round of the major league
draft, Godwin replied, "I'm going to find another Mike Trout."
The slugging Trout, an outfielder from
Millville, NJ, signed with the Pirates before he was taken 25th overall
in the MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels. Trout, who hit .531 as a
senior with 18 home runs, is reportedly seeking a bonus in the $2.5
ECU signee Nick McBride, a right-handed
pitcher from Jamestown Ragsdale, was taken by the Texas Rangers in the
fifth round; Walker Gourley, an infielder from Eastern Wayne, went to
the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 13th round; and first baseman John Wooten
of Eastern Wayne was selected by the San Diego Padres in round 20.
The Washington Nationals picked
right-hander Joseph Hughes in the 40th round, the Philadelphia Phillies
chose hometown outfielder Chris Gosik in the 49th round and lefty Tyler
Joyner went to the Cleveland Indians in the 50th round.
"It's an outstanding class," Godwin
said. "With that many drafted, obviously somebody else thinks they're
good, too. ...
"At this point, we haven't lost anybody
to my knowledge. I would expect two, possibly three (to sign pro
contracts), but in the recruiting process we kind of plan for that. We
want those top players, but we also kind of have back-up plans."
Among ECU's returning players, Godwin
said he expected right-hander Chris Heston to sign with the San
Francisco Giants. Outfielder Devin Harris was taken by the Baltimore
Orioles in the eighth round.
"They've made an offer but they're
still a little bit apart in terms of what he's looking," Godwin said of
his recent discussions with Harris.
Harris was Mr. Clutch in the Greenville
regional final as his three-run homer in the ninth tied the score with
South Carolina at 9 and his single in the tenth brought home Kyle Roller
with the winning run
for a 10-9 ECU triumph.
Cavaliers coming ... possibly
The Virginia Cavaliers, who won the ACC
Tournament and then went on the road to win their super regional at Ole
Miss, are tentatively scheduled to provide the opposition at Clark-LeClair
Stadium when the Pirates open the 2010 season.
"We were scheduled to open up with
South Carolina in a return trip for when we went to Columbia (to start
the 2008 campaign)," Godwin said. "The NCAA came out about a month ago
and granted us an additional week."
So the Cavs accepted ECU's invitation
to come to Greenville. Godwin has had a chance to scout UVa to a degree
via telecasts of the College World Series.
"They're young," Godwin said. "Their
team is going to be a very similar team. ... It's exciting to me. We've
scheduled these great programs. We feel like we have a great program. We
don't look at it as a threat. We look at it as a great opportunity for
us to do something good."
Godwin said there may be a problem with
the Virginia series.
"I was talking with (South Carolina
coach) Ray Tanner (Thursday) and there is an override by the northern
schools trying to take that week away," Godwin said. "Who knows? We get
a week. We don't get a week. I don't know.
"I can't believe they'd grant it to us
and come back now after the schedule's been done and try to override
Fox on Godwin
North Carolina coach Mike Fox learned
first hand about Godwin's coaching potential when the current ECU mentor
was on his staff at North Carolina Wesleyan in 1989 and 1990. The
Bishops won the NCAA Division III championship in 1989.
"I want to congratulate East Carolina
on the tremendous season they had," Fox said after the Tar Heels won the
super regional in Chapel Hill. "Bill and I do go way back. He's done a
terrific job there and I did not doubt that he would. He's taken a kind
of journey like I have here, a coaching journey.
"He's worked hard and he deserves to be
where he is. That program, I think is going to be good for a long time."
Holland says NCAA pleased
ECU hosted its first baseball regional
in Greenville in 2009 and things went well, according to athletic
director Terry Holland.
"The NCAA folks have been very
pleased," Holland said in the aftermath of the dramatic win over the
Gamecocks. "That doesn't help you a whole lot when the selection process
is going on but at least it certainly doesn't hurt you. Their comments
have been tremendous as well as the teams which were here.
"I think that will help us in the
future. We've got a place that people recognize as a great baseball
community, a great baseball facility and people who care about the
Holland said he was worried when South
Carolina built an early 6-0 lead in the regional championship game and
the Pirates were plagued with runners left on base.
"But this is a team that continues to
battle," said the ECU AD. "We do have a lot of firepower and you never
know where it's going to come from. ... Our overall batting order is
very difficult for any team to face."
USM carries C-USA banner
Coach Godwin got some vicarious
satisfaction as Southern Miss stunned host Florida in the Gainesville
super regional to earn a berth in the College World Series, giving
retiring Golden Eagles coach Corky Palmer a long-awaited trip to Omaha.
"I was just so happy for them," Godwin
said. "It was exciting to see their team get on a roll. It was good for
our league. I don't know how many years it goes back with Rice but we
kept our streak alive in Conference USA of getting a team to Omaha."
Rice won the NCAA title in 2003. The
Owls returned to the CWS in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
"I think it speaks volumes for our
league to have three teams (ECU, Rice, Southern Miss) in the super
regionals," Godwin said. "The three that were selected (to the NCAA
Tournament) — all three made the super regionals.
"We were very excited for Southern
Miss. I've got a closer relationship with their guys than probably
anybody in our league. It's not that I'm not excited for other people
but they (Palmer and successor Scott Berry) were both junior college
coaches, kind of like myself. They kind of came up the hard way."
Skip on Father's Day
The Conference USA website has a video
with a number of league coaches sharing their thoughts about Father's
Day, which is coming up on Sunday.
"I have a perspective that my sons now
carry," said ECU football coach Skip Holtz, whose own father, of course,
is legendary former football coach Lou Holtz. "I can remember being a
little kid and being at practice and you have the opportunity to be
around your heroes, and your idols and get to know 'em and eat dinner
with them and spend some time with them.
"It's an incredible atmosphere and
environment to be able to grow up in."