TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Sweep propels ECU
down home stretch
play in weekend's success reminiscent of Hollywood script
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East Carolina got its much needed sweep over Marshall this weekend. It
was a struggle, but somehow the Pirates won all three games in the
relatively painless 8-2 win on
Friday night, the Pirates had their backs to the wall in Saturday’s
game. The Thundering Herd benefitted from a most questionable call on a
bases-loaded ground ball past third in the 8th inning. From my vantage
point the ball was well foul.
Corey Thompson usually doesn’t argue, and he was jumping up and down in
protest. The ball certainly looked foul, was signaled fair, and the
Herd collected a trio of runs.
Still, the Pirates were able to plate a pair in the ninth to force extra
innings. The tying run actually came on a passed ball.
the climactic 10th frame, with a runner at third and two out, it looked
like ECU coach Billy Godwin took a page out of the movie “Major League”
and called for the two-out bunt.
course, in the movie the bunter is aging catcher Jake Taylor, who calls
his shot and then lays one down on the Yankees' infield. Willie “Mays”
Hayes runs with the pitch from second base. He doesn’t stop at third and
slides in with the winning run.
Coach Godwin laughed when I suggested he copied the movie.
the movie he started from second,” said Godwin with a smile on his face.
“We saw their infield back and we knew Phillip (Clark) could get the
ball down. With his speed we liked his odds and it worked out.”
thrilling 8-7 finish put the
sweep within range.
Sunday, the Pirates got a great boost from the bat of Zach Wright, who’s
three-run double was the difference in
the 6-3 win.
East Carolina now faces five big games this week. The Pirates host Elon
and North Carolina before hitting the road to take on Southern
Mississippi this weekend.
“It’s a big week, there’s no doubt about it,” said Godwin. “We just want
to go out and play our best baseball this time of the year.”
Andy Smithmyer will get start for the Pirates against Elon. East
Carolina will once again start Jeff Hoffman against the Tar Heels.
Hoffman was brilliant against the Heels two weeks ago. The freshman held
the Tar Heels to just five hits in seven scoreless innings of work. He
struck out five and walked just one in the no decision. The Pirates
lost the game in Chapel Hill 1-0
in ten innings.
Also from ECU
baseball, closer Drew Reynolds was named to the John Olerud Two-Way
Player of the Year Award watch list on Monday.
never knew such an award existed. Only 20 players were named to the
list, and the way Reynolds has played this year you have to like his
“It says a
lot about just how valuable Drew has been to our team,” said Godwin
about the honor. “He has had a great season for us. For a guy to come in
here as an infielder last year, he has worked hard and is a big part of
what we do.”
Reynolds is the only Conference USA player
on the list. He currently ranks among the league leaders with a .350
batting average and with 57 hits. He shares the C-USA lead in saves with
This past weekend Reynolds hit .538. He was
4-for-5 in Sunday’s win over Marshall. He also pitched a scoreless ninth
inning to collect that tenth save.
The regular season is quickly winding down.
After the Pirates' midweek home games with Elon and North Carolina,
their weekend set at Southern Miss will wind up the conference slate.
faces High Point next Tuesday in the home finale and travels to Virginia
Military Institute and Virginia Commonwealth next weekend. Then it’s on
to Pearl, Mississippi, for the C-USA Tournament. The next stop after
that is the NCAA playoffs.
The season is winding down, and the Pirates can’t afford
to leave any wins on the table.
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