TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
April 26, 2010
Pirates jockey for
(ECU SID image)
Pitching ace Seth
Maness is day to day
with a bit of stiffness.
(ECU SID image)
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improbable comeback last
Thursday night at Cougar Field was the difference as the Pirates picked
up a key Conference USA series win over Houston.
The Pirates trailed the
Cougars 4-1 with two out and nobody on in the top of the 9th in the
opener of the series. The Pirates then strung together four hits, and
went on to pull one out of the fire in beating the Cougars 5-4 in 12
“We got the leadoff guy on
and then we hit into the double play,” said Coach Billy Godwin. “Maybe
I’m just optimistic but I believe we are going to win. We tell our guys
to just get the next guy to the plate, especially when you are down by
multiple runs. We don’t ask them to do too much, just to get it to the
on deck guy. We were able to string four quality at bats together right
Former J.H. Rose star
Chase McDonald got the party started with a solo home run. Philip Clark
followed with a single and then pinch hitter Jonathan Holt came through
with a hit to extend the inning.
Ben Fultz then crushed a
two-run triple off the wall that tied the game. Fultz came very close to
hitting the ball out and giving the Pirates the lead in the ninth.
Trent Whitehead drove home
the eventual game winner in the 12th. Seth Simmons survived a scare and
got the win on the mound.
It was a comeback that
Godwin hopes will continue to pay dividends down the road.
“It will certainly give us
even more confidence in close games,” said Godwin. “I told them after
the game that if we had that same approach before the first out that we
had before the 27th out, we could really do some special things.
Baseball is just a crazy game.”
Houston took game two of
the series 4-2 on Friday (View
Box Score). Godwin was disappointed with the Pirates'
approach and told them so leading into the rubber match.
“I really thought that,
after a great win on Thursday night, that we slept walked through the
game on Friday night,” explained Godwin. “It was disappointing to me and
I think it was disappointing to our players. I got on them a little bit
on Saturday morning before we played. I told them that if they wanted
this they had to attack and be aggressive.”
On Saturday, the Pirates
banged out a season high five home runs and blasted the Cougars 12-2 (View
The series win keeps the
Pirates right in the thick of things in Conference USA. With an RPI of
19, the Pirates are also right in line for an NCAA tournament berth.
This is another big week.
East Carolina opens at Old Dominion on Tuesday, and then returns home
for the return game with North Carolina on Wednesday night.
The Pirates host
Conference USA leader Southern Miss for the weekend. The Golden Eagles
are 9-3 in league play and 30-9 overall.
Godwin likes where his
team is, knowing that the next few days could have momentous
“With 16 games to go and
to be where we are at right now, this is a huge week,” Godwin said. “We
have four games against top 20 RPI opponents, which would go a long way
if we can have a good week.”
While the Southern Miss
matchups are the main concern because they represent a conference
series, many of the Pirate players have extra incentive for the UNC-Chapel
The middle infielders
combined for five errors in the Pirates' 5-3 loss to the Tar Heels at
Boshamer Stadium two weeks ago (View
“If you take their entire
body of work, that’s not what we have been about," remarked Godwin. “We
are still fielding at a .970 which is a good average for a good college
baseball team. There should be some determination that they want to come
back and play well and do the things that they know they are capable of
doing against a very quality opponent.”
East Carolina ace Seth
Maness didn’t pitch in the Houston series. He’s now listed as day to
day. Maness had some stiffness after his last outing, and the Pirate
coaches didn’t want to rush him back.
Godwin says he wants to
give Maness a couple of good bullpen sessions before getting him back
“We’ll have him for Sunday
if he’s feeling good,” said Godwin. “But we won’t rush him back.”
Game times for this
weekend with Southern Miss are 6 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and
11 a.m. on Sunday.
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