TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
March 1, 2010
Lessons learned in
reality check against Cavs
(ECU SID images)
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After really struggling in
several phases of the series opener on Friday, East Carolina spent the
rest of the weekend measuring up to the 10-ranked team in college
Friday’s 10-1 loss to the
Virginia Cavaliers was a disaster.
UVa All-American Danny
Hultzen was on his “A” game, both on the mound and at the plate. Hultzen
struck out a career-high 15 batters, and drove in three runs. At one
point in the game, the lefthander retired 19 straight Pirates.
You can’t afford to make
any mistakes against a Top 10 team with one of the best pitchers in the
nation on the mound. Unfortunately, the Pirates made several.
After committing just one
error last weekend in three games against Youngstown State, the Pirates
had five in the opener in Charlottesville, really upsetting Pirate coach
“We talk about playing at
a high level,” said Godwin. “I know we didn’t come out that way in the
opener. It was disappointing to say the very least.”
Games two and three of the
series could have gone to either team. The Cavs
took Saturday’s game 4-3, while
the Pirates battled through and
salvaged the third game of the series
by the same score.
Godwin knows his team had
its chances in the Saturday loss.
“We did, and I think if we
can learn from some of the mistakes that we made then I think we’ll have
the chance to make our club even better,” said Godwin. “The game just
sped up on some of our guys and that’s what it’s going to do when you
play a club like Virginia. We are going to look at it as a great
opportunity for us. I was really proud of our players for coming through
and getting that win on Sunday.”
On Sunday, Mike Wright was
in command from the outset. The junior right-hander took a no-hitter
into the sixth inning. Wright allowed just one earned run on five hits
in seven innings.
“Michael was outstanding,”
said Godwin. “To go out and do that in that environment and keep his
composure and pitch that way against a very good club was a huge shot in
the arm for us. It was something we needed and it was outstanding.”
Wright wasn’t the only
Pirate hero. Michael Ussery came in as one of the changes Godwin made
for Sunday. His two-out, three-run double was the difference maker in
“It was huge,” said
Godwin. “Anytime you get a big two-out hit it’s big, but particularly
when you’ve lost the first two games. He came up big in his first
official at bat as a Pirate.”
List catcher Zach Wright
as another of the Pirate stars from Sunday’s win. Wright and fellow
Pirate slugger John Wooten continue to struggle at the plate, but Wright
was a standout on defense.
“I give Zach Wright a lot
of credit,” said Godwin. “I thought he won the game for us on Sunday
when he threw out those runners in the 8th and the 9th. He certainly
didn’t take his struggles at the plate to the field and that was big.”
Godwin is confident that
both of his struggling sluggers, Wright and Wooten, will turn things
around offensively soon.
On a side note, I made the
trip to Charlottesville this weekend and watched the last two games of
the series from the bleachers with many of the Pirate faithful.
I was impressed with the
many ECU fans in attendance. It was nice that they were rewarded for
their support with the win on Sunday.
Next up for the Pirates is a non-conference match-up with Campbell this
afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
“We are going to go with
Shawn Armstrong against Campbell,” said Godwin. “He’s got stuff like
Mike Wright and we’ve really wanted to get him some work.”
This weekend, the Pirates
will change up the rotation a little bit for the Pepperdine series.
Seth Maness will still get
the Friday start. Mike Wright will move into the Saturday slot, while
Zach Woods will go on Sunday.
The Pirates start the week
at 4-2, knowing that they are a long way from playing their best
baseball. It’s a long season and the lineup tinkering will continue.
“We have options,”
explained Godwin. “We certainly haven’t given up on anyone that didn’t
play well. We can move people around. It’s like I said going into the
season, that you could see us have multiple lineups. That’s something we
want to do, to show our depth. It’s all about giving ourselves the best
chance to win a game.”
That next chance comes
today against the Camels.
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