Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
McMullan: 'Next game' takes priority over '40 wins'
No rush on
East Carolina will play four games in four days this week, with hopes of gaining
some momentum going into the Conference USA tournament.
The Pirates have
struggled of late, falling out of the national rankings this past week.
Ironically, East Carolina, which was ranked for most of the season, probably won’t be ranked next week for the tournament.
Houston is planted in
or on the fringes of the Top 10 in all three polls, and both Louisville and Southern Miss
made this week's Collegiate Baseball Newspaper rankings.
This Week's Polls
News, Notes and
Of course, a
Wednesday night win over
UNC-Wilmington and then a three-game sweep over Louisville could vault the
Pirates back into the rankings. Four straight wins would also give the
Pirates “40 wins” for the regular season, which is usually a benchmark for
NCAA tournament at-large selections.
ECU assistant coach Kevin McMullan, who doesn't
necessarily bank on the "40 wins" theory as a guaranteed ticket to the
regionals, is concentrating on the Seahawks.
“Our focus has always
been on the next game,” he said. “Forty
wins would be great, but I’m not sure that forty wins definitely gets you
Quality wins also
figure into the equation, but “40” is a nice number if you are a college
Four games in four
days will be a challenge for this baseball team, especially with Sam Narron
struggling with arm problems. For Narron, the goal is to get ready for
Kinston and the Conference USA tournament.
“He’s basically day
to day right now,” said McMullan. “But we will be safe and smart in
deciding if Sam is ready to pitch. We want him ready for tournament time in
It’s a great
couple of weeks ahead if you are a Pirate baseball fan. The trip to
Wilmington is only two hours from Greenville. Then the Pirates are back
at home for a three-game series with Louisville.
Next week, it’s the
C-USA tournament at historic Grainger Stadium. There are certainly
no excuses for not seeing this team play in person.
And there is still
plenty of time for ECU to build that baseball resume for the upcoming NCAA regionals.
'Camp Overton' offered advantages
week, the Pirates have four games in four days, and then just a couple of days to get
ready for the tournament.
For years, ECU was able to schedule some down time before playing in the Colonial
Athletic Association tournament.
Former Coach Gary
Overton would go back to the basics just before tournament time. He would
conduct long, tedious practices to concentrate on the fundamentals.
I used to call it
Overton”, and I saw first hand how the extra
work paid off.
year’s schedule only gives the Pirates a chance to catch their breath, and
get set for some more baseball.
At least the Pirates
are at home for their last conference series, and then can just hop on the
bus for the easy ride to
Kinston. The rest of the league will have to fly in, and half of those teams
will be coming off road series.
The tournament begins
on Tuesday and should be an intense event — especially considering the
stakes for the host team.
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