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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports
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From the Anchor Desk
Thursday, April 29, 2004
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By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

"Omaha Express" roaring ahead

©2004 Bonesville.net

East Carolina is absolutely rolling in baseball. The Pirates have won a school record 16 games in a row and are now ranked in the Top 10 in all four of the major polls.

The Pirates now have the highest ranking in the team’s history at No. 7 in the Baseball America Poll. ECU is ranked No. 8 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association and No. 9 by Collegiate Baseball and the ESPN/Sports Weekly Coaches' Poll. ECU is also ranked No. 2 among southeastern schools by SEBaseball.com.

Randy Mazey really likes the way this team comes to work each and everyday.

“This is a good club,” said Mazey after Sunday’s dramatic win over Louisville. “We have the pitching depth to be a championship club, we can play defense and we can hit. As long as we don’t overlook some of the teams down the stretch with lesser records, then we should be in good shape when the tournament rolls around.”


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The Pirates are right in line as April ends. If the tournament opened today, there would be no doubt that the Pirates would be a No. 1 seed in the Regionals, and most likely a No. 1 seed in the Super Regionals the next week.

The Pirates have a two-game lead in the battle for the regular season title in Conference USA.

ECU, which had no midweek game this week, will host Houston in a three-game set starting Friday. Big crowds are once again expected at Harrington Field for a big Pirate baseball weekend.

Quick-striking Diamondback

Former Pirate Chad Tracy is turning some heads with a great start in the majors playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tracy was the organization's “Minor League Player of the Year” last season, and he got an early call-up this season.

In his first start, Tracy was 4-8 with a couple of key hits as the Diamondbacks won in 15 innings.

Monday night, Tracy started at third base as the Diamondbacks beat the Cubs on ESPN2. Tracy was 2-4 with a double and two RBIs as Arizona ended Chicago’s six-game winning streak, beating the Cubs 9-0.

Tracy also made two outstanding defensive plays that caught the attention of winning pitcher Randy Johnson. Tracy lunged to grab Jose Macias’ line drive and then he tumbled head first over the fence to catch Corey Patterson’s pop-up in foul territory.

The “Big Unit” (Johnson) was very impressed.

“I don’t think I’ve seen plays like that since I’ve been here,” Johnson told reporters after the game.

Coming from a future Hall of Famer, that’s about as good as it gets!

Tracy is turning heads in the valley of the sun.

Ex-Pirates with 'Cavalier' attitudes

Former Pirate Assistant Coach Kevin McMullan and former Pirate outfielder James Molinari are making quite an impact with the Virginia Cavaliers program.

Coach Mac was a finalist for the ECU job when Randy Mazey was hired. He worked with the Atlanta Braves organization before heading to Charlottesville.

Despite not getting the ECU job, Coach Mac was very complimentary of ECU and the Pirate program in a recent e-mail. He compared Charlottesville, VA, with Greenville, calling them both great college towns. He said the Cavs were trying to get Charlottesville excited about Virginia baseball. He joked that Greenville certainly didn’t have that problem, and praised the great ECU crowds and especially 'The Jungle.'

McMullan also said that Molinari was doing a nice job with his duties with Virginia as well.

The Cavs are ranked 10th, just behind East Carolina in the latest Collegiate Baseball poll.

Several Pirates set for NFL mini-camps

Draft day was a long one for former East Carolina tackle Brian Rimpf. Finally, though, Rimpf was picked by the Baltimore Ravens in the seventh round.

Going that late, Rimpf might have been better off signing as a free agent, like a trio of other Pirates did.

Vonta Leach will try to win a job as a fullback and special teams standout with the Green Bay Packers.

Terrance Copper will head to Dallas to meet “The Tuna” and try to make the Cowboys' roster.

Damane Duckett has the shortest trip. Duckett signed his deal with the NFC champion Carolina Panthers.

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02/23/2007 01:29:16 AM

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