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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, June 2, 2004
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Plot twist makes for fascinating regional


The NCAA’s baseball selection committee decided to add a bit of extra drama to the Kinston Regional this year. Tennessee returns to Kinston after ending East Carolina's dream of 2001 in the Super Regionals.

Randy Mazey, ECU's head coach, was an assistant coach on that UT staff.

I still remember when Mazey and former Pirate coach Keith LeClair embraced before the Volunteers' practice on that Thursday before the Super Regionals.

Tennessee’s return conjures up many memories from that Super Regional in Kinston. That Pirate team was loaded. This East Carolina team is better.

If Tennessee weren’t enough, the Kinston regional also includes UNC Wilmington.

All the Seahawks did was snap the Pirates winning streak and wreck the Harrington Field going away party earlier this season. Wilmington is a good baseball team, and along with Tennessee, makes this a very challenging regional.

“There are great teams in all of the regionals,” said Mazey. “But there is a little intrigue in this one, with Tennessee making a return trip. We’ve talked to the team about the last time the Vols played East Carolina in Kinston. I think our guys will be ready.”

The fourth team in this regional is Stony Brook out of New York. No team should be taken lightly, especially in a four-team, double elimination format.

Note: The original version of this column incorrectly stated that Scott Andrews would be ECU's Friday night starting pitcher against Stony Brook. The column has been corrected to indicate that Shane Matthews will be the starting pitcher against the Sea Wolves.  —  Editor

The Pirate pitching rotation will start with a right-hander in Friday's 7 p.m. game against the Sea Wolves.

“We’ll go with Shane Matthews in the opener,” said Mazey. “Then we’ll take a look at who we draw next to make a decision on that match up.”

Greg Bunn would be the odds on favorite to start the second game. With a win on Friday night, the Pirates would then play the Tennessee-UNC Wilmington winner in a critical afternoon game on Saturday. That winner would head to the championship game with a loss to give.

“We are five wins away from Omaha,” said Mazey. “It all starts with Stony Brook and goes from there.”

It’s certainly an odd map that takes you to Omaha through Stony Brook, with a possible stop in Columbia along the way.

Early taste of Omaha

Friends of ECU Baseball is a group that Randy Mazey helped to form on his arrival in Greenville.

That group treated the Pirate baseball team to “Omaha” steaks on Tuesday night. Coach Mazey has talked about Omaha all season long, and the steak dinner provided a great motivating meal.

“We just wanted to get this thing started with something nice for the guys,” said Mazey.

The public was invited out to join in the dinner. The fans, however, were treated to pizza instead of steaks. The fans didn’t mind, though, as they watched their diamond heroes enjoy a nice evening.

Here’s hoping we all get to taste an Omaha steak in Omaha itself in a couple of weeks at the College World Series.

Watch out for Pirate fans hearing “voices”

What do you get when you mix a Pirate voice with a Panther voice? Throw in a great meal and you’ve got the chance to mix it up with the Jeff Charles, Voice of the Pirates, and Bill Rosinski, Voice of the Carolina Panthers, presented by Pirate Radio 1250.

All proceeds go to the Pirate Club. The night is scheduled for June 10th at the Murphy Center. For a $10 donation to the ECU Pirate Club, you’ll be treated to dinner from Logan’s Roadhouse, beverages from Miller Lite and desserts from Christine’s.

The “Top Cat” cheerleaders from the Carolina Panthers will also be attending and providing collectible memorabilia in a silent auction. Items include an autographed team ball, an autographed Jake Delhomme jersey, and an autographed team print.

Advance tickets are required. To purchase a ticket call Pirate Radio 1250 at 252-317-1250 or stop by the station's studios at 525 South Evans Street in Uptown Greenville. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Murphy Center on the ECU campus.

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Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:29:25 AM

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