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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
By Brian Bailey

Mazey looking to banged up staff for stoppers


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East Carolina baseball coach Randy Mazey says it’s like juggling six apples.

It may be even more difficult than that.

Mazey’s pitching staff resembles a MASH unit. With the injuries comes a lack of consistency that may drive the entire Pirate coaching staff crazy before the season ends.

“We’ve got to find a way,” exhorted Mazey after Sunday’s 10-6 win over Southern Miss. “We have to find the right combination. We started P.J. (Connelly) last Friday, started him the next Wednesday and then on Sunday. Now, Ricky Brooks may be on the same track."

Brooks is expected to get the start tonight against 7th-ranked North Carolina. Brooks has been brilliant at times, but wasn’t very effective in the loss to the Golden Eagles on Friday night. Again, it’s the consistency that’s the pressing objective.

“We have to have some guys to step up, to suck it and play in a little pain,” said Mazey. “We need some of our guys to get tough.”

Wednesday night has all of the makings of a great night of baseball at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry will throw out the first pitch. Perry has many friends in Greenville. For years the late “Booger” Scales would host a “Gaylord Perry Day” in Greenville, with bar-b-cue and Pepsi Cola for all.

If the weather doesn’t hold, Perry may throw a natural “spitter” to the plate. Rain is expected for most of the day on Wednesday.

Mazey hopes for a big crowd tonight for his Pirates and the Heels.

“I’m anxious to see,” said Mazey. “I’m hoping that this is going to be the biggest crowd of the year. I know people love to watch the Pirates, but I think everybody likes to see the Pirates and the Heels, or the Wolfpack. I’d love to pack this place. We haven’t played in front of a packed house yet. I’d love to see hour our kids react.”

Ironically, North Carolina is already 0-3 in its history at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The Tar Heels were winless in the Keith LeClair Classic.

Tonight’s first pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.

Spring football climax

I think the first real sign that football season is in sight is the playing of the Puple-Gold football game.

The 2005 version of that big affair is on Saturday.

It will be our first look at Skip Holtz and most of this Pirate football team. The first team offense will take on the first team defense, with the second team matching up with the second team. The third team players will be split between the first two squads.

In the past, the winners would sometime eat steak, while the losers would get beans. This year, the losing team will serve the winning team their dinner. Also, the losing team will have to conduct a car wash next week, with all of the money going to charity.

Unlike some years, this may be more then just a vanilla outing full of three-yard runs. The coaching staff feels like this is a very important scrimmage. And after just three wins in the past 23 games as a program, I get the feeling that Coach Holtz feels that it’s more important to get the locals fired up, then to keep things plain as to not give away any secrets.

Davon Drew, the former New Bern High School star, will get his first start at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday. Holtz says he’s been encouraged by the play of his quarterbacks.

“They have come a long way since day one,” said Holtz. “These scrimmages are invaluable when it comes to experience. In fact, these two may have separated themselves from the rest of the pack by so much that there won’t be any question come August.”

Here’s looking forward to a day of football in Greenville on Saturday!

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02/23/2007 01:31:44 AM

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