TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
unexpected ways to win
BRAIN BAILEY SHOW
Monday night's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW with
guest MIKE STEELE. Eastern North
Carolina's longest running
sports radio call-in show airs each Monday
night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250 and
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If you had started the weekend knowing that both Kevin Brandt and Jharel
Cotton would struggle in their outings, you probably would have written
off any thoughts of an East Carolina sweep of its series with Conference
USA foe UAB.
Brandt started Friday’s game and lasted just three innings, giving up
five runs (four earned) on eight hits. It was his shortest stint of the
Cotton started game three on Sunday and didn’t make it out of the third
inning after giving up three runs and six hits.
In between, Tyler Joyner went the distance on Saturday in
an East Carolina blowout.
Still, somehow the Pirates won all three games in the series and stand
just a game out of first place in the league behind 5-1 Central Florida.
The Pirates trailed 5-0 in the first game of the series on Friday night.
East Carolina strung together nine unanswered runs in the final three
the easy 11-6 win.
Game three was even more of a struggle. The Blazers battered ECU's
pitching for most of the early stages of the game. The bullpen, though,
flexed a little muscle and shut down UAB in the latter innings.
East Carolina rallied with three runs in the ninth to send the game to
extra innings. Struggling slugger Chase McDonald came through with a
two-out, two-run pinch hit single to tie the game at 5.
The Pirates executed a perfect hit and run in the 13th and then
plated the game winner on a Ben
Fultz sacrifice fly. Earlier, in the ninth, Fultz had doubled to start
what turned out to be the game-tying rallying that forced extra innings.
The celebration completed a most unlikely East Carolina sweep.
“I’ve been around this team long enough to know that we’re never out of
it until the last strike,” said Coach Billy Godwin. “Fultz had a big at
bat with that double off the wall and it just sort of snowballed from
The Pirates hit the road to play UNC-Wilmington on Tuesday night and
then return home to host Houston in a three-game series on Thursday
night. This week’s series runs Thursday through Saturday because of the
Spencer Hampton benefit a huge success
Friends and family of former East Carolina football player Spencer
Hampton raised over $50,000 dollars to help with his medical bills at a
benefit in Greenville on Sunday night.
Spencer was recently diagnosed with stage IV melanoma, a very aggressive
form of cancer.
Hampton is a former star at D.H. Conley High School and he walked on at
East Carolina for then coach Skip Holtz.
Holtz and former ECU assistant coach Rick Smith, Hampton’s position
coach, both sent words of encouragement through a video that was shown
at the benefit. That video also included words from Hampton’s best
friend, former UNC-Chapel Hill star pitcher and fellow Conley graduate
Alex White, who now pitches for the Colorado Rockies.
Hampton’s biggest play as a Pirate was an interception at the end of the
Pirates' win over UTEP that clinched East Carolina’s first trip to the
Conference USA championship game.
Spencer will marry his high school sweetheart, Lindsay Styons, in a
couple of weeks. Lindsay’s father, Raymie, is a well-known ACC
basketball referee who played baseball at East Carolina.
TieBreakers hosted the event on Sunday night, which included all kinds
of sports and ECU Pirates memorabilia.
Spencer has long sported a tattoo that reads “Against All Odds.” He
faced long odds on the gridiron, just making the Pirate football team.
Now he faces an even tougher battle. There is a Facebook page set up for
for Spencer.” The support for Spencer and his family has
been nothing short of spectacular.
The family does ask that the prayers keep coming. The Pirate Nation is
certainly behind Spencer as he battles his cancer, against all odds.
E-mail Brian Bailey.
Brian Bailey Archives
04/03/2012 03:42 AM