Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
LeClair to Pirates: Play with 'Attitude'
could pay dividends
East Carolina’s struggling baseball team got a
surprise visitor after Monday's practice.
Pirate Coach Keith LeClair made it out to Harrington
Field, and the ailing coach was able to communicate some strategic thoughts
during the brief visit.
His appearance had an impact.
“It was awesome to see him,” said Pirate catcher
Clayton McCullough. “It had been a while since I had seen him. It was just
great to get a chance to see his face again. He’s still the same guy. We
love him dearly and he feels the same way about us. It was just a great,
emotional lift to see him at practice.”
News, Notes and
This team is in need of a lift. The Pirates dropped
two out of three to Louisville last weekend. Sometimes, when things go
badly, teams tend to press. This Pirate team has been playing “not to lose”.
LeClair's visit struck a positive nerve with the
team. With the league tournament on the line in Kinston this week, it
couldn't have come at a better time
“Coach LeClair’s visit will really helps us,” said
Pirate assistant coach Kevin McMullan. “He talked to our guys about having a
positive attitude and about playing with ‘attitude’. He told them not to
worry about losing, to play to win, without worrying about failure. I think
it was a great message to our guys and it was very nice to see him.”
Of course, it would be much nicer to see Coach
LeClair back in the Pirate dugout. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be
with him and his family.
returns when it counts
Second-team All-Conference USA pitcher Sam Narron
will start ECU's tournament opener tonight (7:30 PM) against Texas
Narron has been out of action over the last couple of
weeks, struggling with a bout of tendonitis.
Observing from the sidelines isn't the Goldsboro
junior's cup of tea, but it may have been just what the doctor ordered.
“The two weeks have been great for my arm, but I
really hated just sitting and watching,” said Narron. “I think I’m much
better now and I’m looking forward to making a difference for our team this
week in the tournament.”
With Narron's return, the Pirates are that much
deeper on the mound — and the coaching staff is already plotting ways to
take advantage of having the left-hander back in the rotation.
“This is the type of tournament that you have to win
five games in,” said McMullan. “We hope that Sam can give us some good
innings on Wednesday night, and then give us something more later in the
week. That’s why we’ve been so careful with his situation.”
implements CWS scheme
Conference USA is using the College World Series
format for this week’s event at historic Grainger Stadium.
Basically, the tournament is two, separate,
four-team, double elimination tournaments.
The two winners in those separate tournaments then
play one game for the league championship on Sunday at 2:00 PM.
“I think it’s a great format,” said McMullan. “I
think it gets you ready for Omaha, and as I have said, that is our goal
The reason for the format change is for television,
to have one game for the championship,
which will be televised by by a diverse
network of outlets put together by the league office.
CBS first convinced officials at the CWS that this
format was the only way to get a true national championship game.
downside of the formula for the event is that the tournament champion could
have one loss, and the team that finishes second could also have just one
It took a while for many to get used to the CWS
format, but now I think it is the only way to go, especially if you’re
looking to televise the championship game.
Here’s hoping the Pirates are a part of that title
tilt. We’ll see you at historic Grainger Stadium this week!
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