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BAILEY'S TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

By Brian Bailey

First signs of baseball season are here

BRAIN BAILEY SHOW

Replay Monday night's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW, featuring a preview of the Pitt-Greenville Hot Stove League Banquet with Chuck Humphrey, Ronald Vincent and Clay Medlin. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930.
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(ECU SID File Photos)

Bonesville features writer Ron Cherubini conducted one-on-one interviews with East Carolina offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley (left) and Pirate defensive boss Brian Mitchell (right). Links to the wide-ranging Q&A sessions:

Lincoln Riley Q&A
Brian Mitchell Q&A

By Brian Bailey
©2012 Bonesville.net
All rights reserved.

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It’s hard to believe that baseball practice begins this week at East Carolina. The road to Omaha starts at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Feb. 17th.

ECU coach Billy Godwin has a busy slate leading up to that date.

Godwin opened this week by speaking at the Wilson Hot Stove League Banquet. He was on a coaches panel that included Josh Simmons of Barton College, Carl Lancaster of Mount Olive, and Mike Fox of UNC-Chapel Hill.

Each coach had a topic to speak on in the roundtable format. Godwin spoke on NCAA regulations.

On Wednesday, Godwin and the Pirates will host the team’s annual media day. It’s a chance for area media to sit down with the coach, his staff and the players to preview the upcoming baseball season.

Godwin is the headline speaker at Thursday’s Pitt-Greenville Hot Stove Banquet at J.H. Rose High School. It’s the 23rd annual banquet which honors the year’s best amateur player, volunteer coach, individual contributor and corporate contributor.

The Pitt-Greenville Hot Stove banquet is always a great time. It’s a night of baseball and barbeque, and this year it will have a Pirate theme with Godwin as the guest speaker.

I have been fortunate to emcee 21 of the 23 Pitt-Greenville Hot Stove Banquets. One year the event was cancelled for snow, and one year I had to miss to cover the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

The busy week continues with Friday’s first baseball practice at East Carolina. The weather is expected to be warm with a high near 70 degrees with a chance of thunderstorms.

Godwin and his Pirates will see all aspects of weather over the next couple of months, but at least the team will apparently get off to a warm start.

Then on Saturday, it’s one of the true annual highlights of the baseball season. Coach Godwin and the team host the 12th annual “Meet the Pirates” luncheon at the Murphy Center at Harvey Hall.

“Meet the Pirates” features a catered lunch and gives fans the chance to mingle with and get autographs from the Pirate players and coaches.

The highlight of the luncheon is the announcement of which Pirate player will wear the No. 23 jersey to honor late ECU Head Coach Keith LeClair.

After lunch, Pirate fans are invited out for a scrimmage game that afternoon.

Just to get you ready for this week’s start of practice, here are some stats associated with this year’s team:

• The Pirates lost 71.7 percent of the team’s innings pitched from last season. ECU returns only 8 of their 41 wins from a year ago, and 7 of those come from Kevin Brandt. The Pirates have an arsenal of talented arms to replace what they have lost, but those arms are unproven to start the year.

•On the other side, 13 of the Pirate’s top 16 positional players return, which includes 81 percent of the offense from a year ago. That includes 542 hits, 281 runs, 271 RBI and 32 home runs.

The Pirates open the 2012 season at home on Friday, Feb. 17th, hosting Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

It won’t be long now before we hear that first, “Play Ball!”

[View East Carolina's 2012 baseball schedule from ECU Media Relations in a new window.]

BB

E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

01/24/2012 02:16 AM

 
 

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