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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

By Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey

Puzzle pieces coming together

Billy Godwin
(ECU Media Relations photo)


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Brian BaileyReplay Monday night's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW. Brian's guests were ECU women's basketball coach Heather Macy (below left) and volleyball coach Julie Torbett (below right). Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night from 6:30-7:30 on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930.
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By Brian Bailey
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After opening the season with a trio of losses, East Carolina bounced back to take the unofficial championship of the Tenth Annual Keith LeClair Classic.

The Pirates opened the event with a win over Illinois and followed with victories over Boston College and New Mexico State.

A relieved coach Billy Godwin knows there is a season of baseball ahead. Still, he couldn’t discount just how critical these three games were after the way his team started the year.

“It all comes from me,” said Godwin on Sunday after the Pirates 5-1 victory over the Aggies. “It comes from the top and I think if you ask anybody in that locker room, there was no sense of panic. We knew we had a good club and we knew we had to put some pieces together. We’ll continue to put pieces together. It’s a puzzle out there and we’re still putting it together.

Godwin kept it simple for his team.

“All we could do on Thursday was be 1-3, he said. “And then all we could do Friday was be 2-3 and all we could do today was be 3-3. We just tried to keep guys focused because you can’t win three games at once.”

The players agreed that this was a huge weekend, especially for confidence.

“You know after staring off 0-3 you always have to bounce back with a big win on Thursday and that’s what we did," said senior Bryan Bass. “ We tried to take it one day at a time on the weekend. Coach is always preaching to us, you know, take it one game at a time, and that’s exactly what we did this weekend. I like that we came out with three wins this weekend.”

The same Pirate bullpen that pretty much took East Carolina out of the first three games of the season was pretty solid for the weekend. There are still slots to be filled. Still, Godwin and his staff have to sleep better this week.

“It says a lot,” said Godwin when asked about the difference in his pitching from last week to this weekend. “I keep telling our guys defensively we’ve got a good club and we’ve got a lot of confidence in (Drew) Reynolds and some of these guys. If the guys will throw strikes up there were going to make plays behind them.”

One of the guys who was much better on the mound this weekend was closer Reynolds, who now has to lead a very young and inexperienced pitching staff.

“It was a big deal,” said Reynolds. “We knew coming in that it was going to be a learning process early because of all the new guys that we have and all the guys that we lost from last year. Once we got some guys in there and got their feet wet and got some experience we knew they would be fine. We’ve got plenty of guys that can get the job done. It was just a matter of getting experience.”

Bass agreed.

“We’ve had great pitching performance all weekend,” Bass said. “I can’t thank them (pitching staff) enough for the great job they did this weekend. That’s awesome that we went 3-0 on the weekend.”

The Pirates hope to keep it going with a huge week this week.

Virginia Commonwealth and Liberty provide the midweek competition, and then NCAA Super Regional participant St. John’s comes to Greenville this coming weekend.

“Right now I’m just trying to catch my breath,” said Godwin. “We’ve got five games this week. We knew what our schedule was and we knew that we were going to challenge these guys early. These midweek games are so important and they’re against good clubs.”

The simple approach certainly worked this past weekend. Godwin says he’ll try the same with this five-game stretch.

“What I’ve really done is just try to keep it simple for them and just tell them to focus on Tuesday night and we approach this thing one game at a time," said Godwin. "It may be ‘coachspeak’ but I think that it’s best not to look too far ahead.”

The baseball season always has its ups and downs. This year the downs came early.

Godwin and the Pirates hope the ‘ups’ continue for another big week.


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02/25/2013 09:11 PM


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