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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports
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From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
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By Brian Bailey

What a way to entertain the kinfolks!

Something to Celebrate

East Carolina players swarm teammate Ricky Brooks after the sophomore pitching ace baffled Memphis batters on Sunday to register a no-hitter. Brooks, who on Monday was named Collegiate Baseball's Louisville Slugger Player of the Week, added another national award on Tuesday when the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced it had selected him as the Pro-Line Cap National Pitcher of the Week. (Photo: Brian Bailey)

©2005 Bonesville.net

I have been bragging so much about Clark-LeClair Stadium that my younger brother decided to bring his family to a game. The plan was to catch Saturday night’s game with Memphis, and then watch Sunday’s contest.

Saturday’s game time was moved up to avoid potentially bad weather.  My young nephews had their own games on Saturday and didn’t arrive in town until after the 8-5 Pirate loss in the second game of the series.

That left Sunday, and the weather looked bleak to start the day.

Ryne, my 13-year old, and I think nothing of sitting in the rain to watch a game. Battling the elements is half the fun. But as Sunday’s game started with a shower, I really thought my brother, his wife and two boys were in for a quick day of baseball.

Ironically, it did turn out to be a quick day enjoying the national pastime. But what a day it would be.

Ricky Brooks toed the rubber and struck out 14 batters. More importantly, Brooks was taking a no-hitter into the late innings. Normally, baseball tradition calls for not talking about the possibilities of a no-hitter.

I couldn’t resist and told my brother’s family about Brook’s last flirtation with a no-no. I told them how he shut down Charlotte and explained that a controversial “home-town” scoring decision cost him an earlier no-hitter.

Brooks continued to dominate the Tigers. My nephews, Kyle, age 9, and Chad, age 6, were totally into the game. Chad, though, did have his eye on Pee Dee for a photo opportunity.

Brooks went to the ninth needing three outs for history. I didn’t realize at the time that it would be the first ever nine-inning no-hitter in Conference USA history. Nonetheless, we watched as Pirate history was made.

Brooks got a ground out to short with a nice snag by Ryan Peisel at first for out number one. Brook’s 14th strikeout of the game took him to the same edge that he had gotten to in the Charlotte game.

This time, there was no doubt. The final hitter flied out to right field and the no-hitter was in the books.

"I was getting a little nervous when it got to two outs in the ninth," Brooks said. "I was just thinking, don't let it happen to me again, being that close. I just beared down and got those last outs."

"I couldn't be happier for Ricky," said ECU coach Randy Mazey. "He's a good kid. He's worked hard to get where he's at. That's a special accomplishment he'll take with him for the rest of his life."

Not a bad first game at Clark-LeClair, huh! It was also one of the fastest games that I’ve ever seen, lasting only an hour and 43 minutes.

If you look at one of the pictures from the gallery from the game at ecupirates.com, you’ll see the six of us, my brother’s family plus Ryne and I, all a part of the standing ovation that the crowd gave to Ricky after that final out.

What a great memento for your first game at the stadium. A no-hitter, captured with a picture. It just doesn’t get any better then that.

Thanks Ricky! You won several new Pirate fans with that Sunday performance!

No letdown after no-hitter

East Carolina followed up the no-no with a shutout win over the Citadel yesterday.

T.J. Hose got the win, striking out seven in five innings of work in the 3-0 Pirate victory.

Mark Minicozzi went for 3-4 at the plate.

The Pirates return home for a three-game C-USA series this weekend. Friday’s game time is set for 7:00 p.m. Saturday’s start is at 6 p.m. and Sunday’s scheduled time is 1:00. However, check this site, ECU's official athletics site, the newspaper, or television for time changes or other updates due to any inclement weather that could be in the area.

Get out to the park. You just might see history in the making!

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

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

02/23/2007 01:31:46 AM

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