TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
League race a free
for all after week one
BRAIN BAILEY SHOW
Monday night's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW,
featuring an update on Brian's annual Sweet
16 "2nd Chance" contest and an interview
with Cutter Creek pro Bert Williams. Eastern North
Carolina's longest running
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night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250 and
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Throughout Billy Godwin’s career as baseball coach at East Carolina, his
team has won when it needed to most. That trend continued on Sunday when
rolled past Central Florida 15-6
“If that was the case I’d give that speech every game,” joked Godwin.
“It’s really a situation where you tell the guys that we are all in it
together. We just want them to focus harder. We don’t want to try harder
because sometimes that results in a negative.
lost a close game on
Friday and then
let one get away after we
had the lead on Saturday. So the way we bounced back was a good sign.”
The highlights for the Pirates were many. Junior Jharel Cotton collected
a career-best 11 strikeouts in recording his fifth win against no
losses. Cotton worked seven strong innings, giving up just two earned
runs and scattering ten hits.
On offense, five East Carolina hitters had multiple hit games as a part
of the 19-hit attack. Jack Reinheimer was the star. The sophomore
shortstop was 5-6 from his leadoff slot with five runs scored. Jay
Cannon, John Wooten and Tim Younger all had a trio of hits.
Friday’s games in conference play are so pivotal. Teams throw their best
arms, wanting to get that upper hand in the series with the game one
UCF took the opener from the Pirates in a 2-1 pitcher’s duel.
Kevin Brandt certainly did his part Friday night. Brandt gave up just a
pair of runs (one earned) in the complete game outing. He allowed just
one extra base hit and five singles. Two of those five singles were
“I thought he was outstanding,” said Godwin. “The difference in that
game is that they came up with a big hit and we didn’t. They made a nice
defensive play on the ball that (Chase) McDonald hit. They executed and
we weren’t able to.
Kevin pitches like that every Friday night we’ll win a lot of baseball
The main hiccup to the season so far has been East Carolina's pitching
in midweek games.
“Our problems have come when we have tried to find that fifth starter,”
said Godwin. “We haven’t found that guy yet. We go about seven or eight
strong, but we need more. We knew depth was going to be an issue.”
The Pirates have another big midweek game this week against North
Carolina State. The Pirates
beat the Wolfpack in Greenville
last week 6-5. A win on Wednesday in Raleigh would sweep the season
series for ECU.
“It would be great because, from a fan standpoint, it’s N.C. State,”
said Godwin. “But really, it would be great because they are a good
club. They have an outstanding RPI and that will help us down the road.
That’s why our midweek games are so important. All of the teams we play
midweek, like UNC, N.C. State, Elon, UNC-Wilmington, etc., … they all
usually have strong RPIs.”
Midweek games have been a bit of an issue on the mound. Godwin says it’s
certainly a work in progress at this point.
The good news from Conference USA over the weekend is that there weren’t
any sweeps. Despite losing two out of three against UCF, the Pirates are
just a game out of first place after the first weekend.
“There are no days off in this league,” said Godwin. “You have to bring
your “A” game every time out. As a competitor I really like that. It was
a good first weekend. Everybody is either 2-1 or 1-2 and that shows how
even things are.”
Next up for East Carolina in league play, UAB pays a visit to Greenville
for a weekend series starting on Friday. The Blazers opened Conference
USA action by taking two out three from Marshall at home.
That may be the key to taking this Conference USA regular season title.
Teams have to win their home series and then steal a few on the road.
Conference USA continues as one of the top baseball leagues in the
nation. The regular season race should be a rollercoaster ride each and
The Blazers are on the clock.
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03/26/2012 11:24 PM