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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Pirates charge ahead toward big stakes


East Carolina coach Randy Mazey probably never expected a shutout last night.

But if you think about it, he probably didn’t expect to have his team ranked among the nation’s top five, either.

That’s the story of this baseball team.

Expectations continue to grow. A trip to Omaha used to be a dream. Now I think it’s on that list of expectations.

Last week UNC Wilmington rolled into town and crashed the Harrington Field going away party. The Seahawks ended the Pirate winning streak at 19 in a row.

Last night East Carolina returned the favor, shutting out the ‘Hawks 3-0.

Now, it’s on to tonight's second game of the home and home with North Carolina State. The game is a sellout at historic Grainger Stadium.

The Pirates have saved the most difficult segment of their schedule for now.

“This is a tough stretch,” said Mazey. “We’ve got five games in six days that will certainly test our pitching staff.”

Mazey knows that fans love wins over the likes of UNC Wilmington and especially North Carolina State.

But with a Conference USA series against Texas Christian looming in the shadows, he also knows which games are most important.

“As important as these two games are Tuesday and Wednesday, this weekend we have TCU and those games will dictate how we finish in the league," Mazey explained. "We have to be careful how we pitch these two games. We certainly don’t want to spend our top guys and not have them for the weekend."

Mazey really seems to be at ease, even with everyone else caught up in rankings, regional possibilities, and the goal of ‘goin to Omaha.

He really wants to wrap up the league's regular season championship just as soon as possible.

“C-USA is a really good conference which sends four or five teams to the NCAA tournament each year,” said Mazey. “To win this league would be really something and we control our own destiny. We have an opportunity to win the regular season if we finish the season well. Just to have a chance to win the Conference USA title is a credit to the kids and how they played this year.”

In the meantime, though, next up is N.C. State. I had a chance to see the game between the Pirates and the Wolfpack in Raleigh. It was an extremely well played game. If the two teams equal that outing tomorrow night, then the fans at Grainger are in for a real treat.

Terrific Tracy travels east

Former Pirate Chad Tracy hit his second home run of the season on Monday night. The former Pirate continues to impress with the bat.

Just in case you’re thinking about trying to see Tracy in action with the Diamondbacks, you’ve got a couple of chances coming up.

The Diamondbacks visit Atlanta next week, playing the Braves May 18th-20th.

Tracy will play even closer to home in June. The Diamondbacks visit Baltimore June 8th-10th.

Just in case you’re making a west coast trip, Tracy and the Diamondbacks host the New York Yankees on June 15th-17th.

I wonder if Chad ever dreamed about playing 3rd base opposite Alex Rodriguez. Probably not, since A-Rod wasn’t even thinking about 3rd base until this past off-season.

Still, it’s got to be a dream come true, to play opposite A-Rod, Jeter, Giambi and the pinstripes in a Major League game.

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02/23/2007 01:29:20 AM

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