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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

By Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey

Weekend mound rotation emerges


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Brian BaileyReplay Monday night's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW. Brian's guests were ECU baseball coach Billy Godwin (below left) and Kinston Free-Press managing editor Bryan Hanks (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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Weekend mound rotation emerges
Audio: WTIB (TOT: Ronald McDonald House)
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By Brian Bailey
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This was certainly not the St. John's club that the Pirates have seen in the postseason the last two years. Still, this weekend’s East Carolina sweep of the Red Storm provided what Coach Billy Godwin hopes is a glimpse of some outstanding starting pitching on the weekends.

It sounds like a law firm.

Hoffman, Williams & Lucroy certainly got the job done as the Pirates held back the Storm back-to-back-to-back.

ECU took the three games behind the solid mound performances of Jeff Hoffman, Ryan Williams and David Lucroy by scores of 6-3, 8-1 and 7-3, respectively.

The trio combined for an impressive 21 1/3 innings of work, giving up just five earned runs on 17 hits. The starters also combined for 11 strikeouts and issued just six walks.

Coming off that 14-4 loss to Liberty on Wednesday — when the pitching really struggled — the Pirate starters left no doubt in the series.

“Wins are hard enough to come by but sweeps are even harder, and against a good club like St. John’s,” said Godwin. “I’m really proud of our guys' effort. I thought we had a solid week in baseball, just looking to try to get this thing on the roll, build depth and keep these guys out on the field, and I think we get the chance to get better and better every time we get out.”

The other impressive part of this series was the hitting, especially with runners in scoring position.

In the series finale, the Pirates plated five big runs in the second inning, doing all of the damage with two outs.

“Hitting is contagious,” said ECU shortstop Jack Reinheimer. “One guy gets a hit and the rest of the guys just follow. It feels great with pitchers throwing strikes and pounding the zone and the defense is making plays, and that is what’s going to win ball games.”

Lucroy had the most impressive start of the weekend. He struck out nine and gave up only 2 hits and 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings pitched on Sunday.

“I just went out there and had a lot of fun,” said Lucroy. “Coaches said I needed to go out there and feel comfortable. It worked out well. The guys played good defense behind me and our guys hit early and that really helped us out.”

“Were still talking about a guy who’s only thrown 12 innings of college baseball,” said Godwin. “I thought he was good last week, but he was outstanding today. I thought he threw his fast ball, and his slider was even better. He got us deep in the game. I thought he was outstanding.”

Former major league broadcaster Joe Garagiola once wrote a book called “Baseball is a Funny Game.” It certainly is. That same team that got thumped by Liberty on Wednesday last week did all of the little things to win this past weekend.

“Everyday is a new adventure and that’s one thing I know about this game,” joked Godwin. “Another thing I know about the game is that I don’t know (about this game). But I like this team. I’ve said it all along and I liked the way they didn’t quit. They battled back and got themselves into good position and that’s a credit to the guys in that locker room.”

After the Pirates host UNC-Greensboro today (3 p.m.) and visit Old Dominion on Wednesday (3 p.m.), Monmouth comes to town this coming weekend to take on the law firm.

Billy Godwin and the Pirate Nation hope for another successful trial for Hoffman, Williams & Lucroy.


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03/05/2013 02:02 AM


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