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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Streak zapped, but bigger goals are ahead


The 15-5 shellacking that East Carolina took at the hands of UNC Wilmington on Tuesday night is exactly why the 19-game winning streak was nothing short of spectacular.

You just don’t win ever game in college baseball. There is too much parity. There are just too many good teams out there.

Still, somehow, East Carolina fought through and won 19 straight baseball games. The Pirates set a school record for consecutive victories in the process and  will look to add on to a Conference USA record 17-game streak this weekend at Saint Louis.

ECU was behind the eight ball from the very beginning Tuesday's game. Maybe it was all of the hype around the streak or the team's lofty national ranking. Perhaps it was all of the talk about the final game at Harrington Field.

It certainly wasn’t the way the old ballpark deserved to go out. Harrington Field has seen very few losses over the years. Maybe the old ‘gal just didn’t want to see this one played.

Everyone seemed to have the same sentiments about Harrington Field on Tuesday night. The jungle was jumping, the ribs were tasty, and the fans were ready for the finale. Most of the fans I talked to didn’t want to say goodbye to Harrington Field, but they realize that a new park is long overdue at ECU.

After spending the last couple of pregames out in the jungle, I’m certainly glad the “powers that be” decided to save the jungle. The jungle is the heart of the baseball program. The baseball aficionados that have by now established squatter's rights beyond the outfield fence are a proud group and deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the program’s success.

I had the honor of interviewing one of my favorite people before the finale on Tuesday night. Former Pirate Coach Gary Overton joined me in the jungle to reminisce a bit about Harrington Field during our 6 o’clock sportscast on WNCT-TV 9.

Coach “O” talked about some of his big wins at Harrington. He pointed out some of the championships that were won at the field. He also added that some of his team’s biggest wins at Harrington came against the ACC, especially N.C. and UNC-Chapel Hill.

I’m sure this team would have liked nothing more then to put one more in the win column, to close out Harrington Field in style.

But when you get down to the x’s and o’s of this thing, it’s really just one game.

There are much bigger goals on the horizon. This team still has the talent and depth to make a great run in the NCAA tournament.

Nobody likes to lose, but many a championship team got a bad loss out of their system before making its run.

A painful blowout is much easier to take during the first week of May, than in the first week of June, when it really matters.

Congratulations to Coach Randy Mazey and the Pirates on a Herculean effort with the 19-game winning streak.

We said goodbye to an old friend in Harrington Field, but I think we’re going to like the new girl that much more next spring.

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02/23/2007 01:29:19 AM

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