TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Victories Come in
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Pirates end frustrating weekend on positive note
It won’t go into the Conference USA standings, but East Carolina
actually picked up a pair of wins on Sunday.
In the opener, Jharel Cotton continued his winning ways. Cotton struck
out an even dozen as the Pirates
finally solved the Tulane puzzle,
The struggling offense got the jump start it needed early on when Zach
Wright staked the Pirates out to a 3-0 lead with a first-inning,
Cotton improved to a C-USA leading 8-0 with the victory. He gave up just
two earned runs in seven innings of work. Cotton has excelled when the
Pirates have needed him the most, and he was at his best against the
Still, the frustrations of three straight poor performances at the plate
the 1-0 loss to UNC-Chapel Hill
and then the first two losses against Tulane this weekend — had head
coach Billy Godwin still scratching his head as his squad faced an off
“It has been frustrating,” said Godwin. “I know we can hit and I know we
can score runs.”
I asked Coach Godwin if he thought the problem was physical, or mental,
or possibly a combination of both.
“I think it’s a combination,” he replied. “I know some guys are
pressing. I think we swung at some bad pitches, especially
on Friday night. Our energy and
enthusiasm was much better
on Saturday, but we just didn’t
get enough hits to win.”
Sunday’s second victory was more of a spiritual win.
The East Carolina baseball program once again hosted the Exceptional
Community Baseball League in its annual exhibition game. [View
12-Picture Slide Show]
Fittingly, the sun finally broke through the eastern North Carolina
cloud cover as the special needs children and adults took to the diamond
at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
As a coach in the ECBL, I know firsthand how excited our players get
about the game with the ECU baseball team. The Pirate squad also looks
forward to the afternoon.
“I look forward to this every year,” said Pirate outfielder/first
baseman John Wooten. “I think we all do. This is certainly one of the
highlights of the season for me.”
Some had wheelchairs. Others needed help with the hitting and still
others needed guidance around the bases. The Pirate players took on the
responsibility of serving as buddies for the event and did a great job.
There could be some debate about which group enjoys the game more. It is
certainly a win-win for everyone.
“I know our guys really enjoyed today,” said Godwin. “It kind of puts
everything into perspective. What many of these families go through on a
daily basis pales in comparison to us trying to win a baseball game.”
One of the highlights of the exhibition was when two of the young female
players had a pair of Pirates playing “patty cake” in the infield. It
was quite a sight to see!
Each player had his or her name announced by the Pirates' public address
announcer, Michael Weller. Each at bat had a professional sound to it
that had parents and friends cheering with each announcement.
It was an outstanding afternoon and a day that many of the players and
parents will certainly never forget.
East Carolina now breaks this week for exams. After that, the tests will
come on the diamond. The Pirates host Marshall in a three-game series
starting Friday and then head to Southern Miss to close out the regular
East Carolina also has a pair of home games after the Marshall series,
taking on Elon and squaring off with North Carolina in a rematch.
The Pirates need to heat up the bats and get the offense cranking. Maybe
the week off will get those bats going.
There’s certainly no more “patty cake” the rest of the way…
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05/01/2012 03:40 AM