TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
March 29, 2010
Drama no obstacle
for Cardiac Bucs
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Every team has its own
distinct personality. This 2011 East Carolina baseball squad is quickly
developing its style as a “never say die” unit that continues to pull
games literally out of the fire.
The Pirates have their own
version of “March Madness” going!
Zach Wright’s two-out,
two-run, walk-off home run
beat Memphis on Saturday 5-3 to
clinch the three-game series for ECU. The Pirates took game one on
Friday night behind Seth Maness, but then dropped the first game of the
doubleheader on Saturday.
All three games could have
certainly gone either way.
Maness was the difference
on Friday night. The senior right-hander just gets better and better.
Maness is now 19-3
all-time against Conference USA opponents. He is 4-1 this season with a
miniscule 1.99 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting just .201 against
Maness this season.
Game two was another
one-run game. Memphis
pulled this one out 3-2, scoring
the winning run on a fielder’s choice in the seventh inning.
The Pirates and Tigers
played a doubleheader on Saturday to beat the bad weather. Game three of
the series featured another low scoring nail biter.
What a difference a couple
of at bats can make! East Carolina was starring down the barrel of a
doubleheader sweep and opening the conference slate with a series loss.
The Pirates rallied,
though. John Wooten brought home the tying run with a two-out base hit.
Then Wright turned what would have been a disappointing weekend into a
series win with his game winning blast.
Pirate coach Billy Godwin
was asked about his team’s knack for winning late after the series
“I wish I could bottle it
and get them to focus, one through eight,” joked Godwin. “They are a
group of competitors. They don’t ever quit. They are fun to be around
and fun to coach.”
Godwin calculated that
coming from behind and winning that third game against Memphis, thus
taking the series, will reap big benefits down the road.
“You obviously want to win
every game,” explained Godwin. “But really it comes down to winning
series. When the committee sits down for the tournament they look at
just how many series you win. This was huge.”
East Carolina has another
busy week coming up, visiting UNC-Wilmington today, then hosting Elon on
Thursday is a travel day
to Birmingham. Then it’s a three-game series with league foe UAB.
The Blazers took two out
of three from Marshall this past weekend. All three games were one-run
affairs. Does that sound familiar?
UAB scored twice in the
9th to take the opener on Friday. On Saturday, the Herd tuned the same
trick, scoring twice in the 9th to win.
Sunday’s game went 14
innings. UAB pitchers set a school record with 17 strikeouts. The
Blazers took the series with a 2-1 victory.
the new bats. Maybe the early
season weather, combined with the bats is the cause. Or perhaps it’s the
pitching depth in Conference USA.
Whatever it is, scoring is
down and games are tight.
Get that blood pressure
checked before heading to Clark-LeClair. These games are not for the
faint of heart!
E-mail Brian Bailey.
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