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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

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

Locked and loaded for battle on foreign field


As a former Clemson baseball star, Randy Mazey has his own memories of the University of South Carolina.

Now, the second year Pirate coach hopes to make a new one.

The assignment is a difficult one, but if you’ve seen this Pirate team play this year, you understand that East Carolina has a wonderful chance to knock off the Gamecocks at Sarge Frye Field and make that trip to Omaha.

“I know a lot of people have picked them to win the national championship,” said Mazey. “If we are going to be the best, we’ve got to beat the best. I’m an old Clemson guy so there wouldn’t be any better place for me to celebrate my trip to Omaha then on that field right there.”

Like his club, Mazey certainly isn’t heading to this Super Regional with his head tucked between his legs. Mazey and the Pirates are quite confident that they can get these two wins and move on to Omaha.

The team and the coach will not back down, in spite of the unfriendly venue.

“I’ve got a history of those people not liking me a whole lot and I’ve got a history of not liking them a whole lot," said Mazey. "So, as a Clemson guy, they are going to be anxiously waiting for me to step off of the bus.”

The Pirates realize that they will have to beat one of the nation’s top teams in hostile territory. Again, this Pirate team seems to relish the challenge.

“We’re excited about getting a chance to go down there and play,” said first baseman Ryan Norwood. “It’s an exciting feeling to play one of the best teams in the country and try to prove what we’re worth. I’m excited. I’ve never had a chance to play for a trip to Omaha and I can’t wait.”

Mazey agrees that the environment may actually help his team.

“We respond well to crowds,” said Mazey. “Regardless of who they are, they are going to have five or six thousand people down there, but we’ll have some in purple. Anybody in Eastern North Carolina who can get a ticket will try and be there and I think our guys will respond well to that.”

Bunn warming up?

Although he didn’t come out and say it, Mazey has to be leaning toward starting Greg Bunn in Saturday’s opener against South Carolina.

“You have to try and win the first game so we are going to go with our best,” said Mazey. “This is a short series now. We are really going to try and win that first game and set the tone for the weekend.”

Vandy dodged Pirates

If the Pirates had gotten that national seed I believe East Carolina would have then been paired off with the Charlottesville regional winner, which turned out to be Vanderbilt.

East Carolina would have then hosted the Commodores in Wilson in the Super Regional. That’s based on the NCAA’s “geographic” mentality with the Super Regionals.

I still say the Pirates deserved that national seed, and it would have been nice to see them at Fleming Stadium.

However, the saying goes: “Respect All, Fear None!” The Pirates have had that mentality all year long.

Here’s hoping that East Carolina does indeed get those two wins, and then heads to Omaha. If ever a university deserved a chance in the national spotlight, it’s now!

For the program’s rich history, for Keith LeClair, for the everlasting Pirate spirit, for the school and city that get so little respect state-wide, here’s hoping for a chance to shine in Omaha.

It’s been the goal all year long, and now it’s just two wins away. So close, but still two very big wins away!

Good Luck Pirates!!!

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02/23/2007 01:29:26 AM

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