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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
By Brian Bailey

Goblins and turf demons too much to handle


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show, with guest Chris Ferguson.

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Replay Skip Holtz's postgame press conference from Saturday's ECU-UCF game (recorded by Denny O'Brien).

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In the spirit of Halloween, the Pirates offered up both tricks and treats on Saturday against Central Florida.

It was almost as if some of the “evil spirits” from the halftime show stuck around for the fourth quarter.

Actually, those “evil spirits” made their appearance earlier than that. How else do you explain Travis Williams’ decision to try and field a punt inside his own three yard line?

Another key trick in the loss was the Brandon Fractious fumble in the fourth quarter. The game was on the line and Fractious was looking to add to his most successful day as a Pirate when he fumbled in his own backfield.

“This one was frustrating,” said Pirate coach Skip Holtz after the game. “I know that the guys are really working hard, but we just aren’t making the plays to win football games.”

Maybe it was the purple pants. We did some checking to see how East Carolina has fared over the years in the uniforms that make the squad look like the grapes in the fruit of the loom commercials. The unofficial answer we got is that the Pirates are are 0-8 all-time in all purple, including the 1994 Liberty Bowl shutout loss to Illinois.

On the other side, treats for the day included the play of Fractious at running back. Coach Holtz had said last week that he wanted to find depth at that position, and Fractious was enjoying his coming out party when he fumbled in the fourth quarter.

“I just tell the guys to convince me that I can trust them,” said Holtz. “We didn’t play Brandon for a while because of the fumbles. He fumbled in warm-ups for one game, so we held him out. But he is really running the football well. I just tell them to, ‘Help me trust you,’ in this whole deal.

Holtz said last week that he didn’t know why the team seemed to get off to a slow start. He joked that his squad might go through a full-scale scrimmage for a half-hour or so before the game, just to get ready. Regardless, it’s another trick that the Pirates have to remedy in a hurry.

The Pirates now take this week off before making trips to Tulsa and Marshall. ECU will most likely be underdogs in both of those games, before coming home to take on UAB.

At 3-5, the Pirate players and coaches certainly are far from satisfied. Still, three wins in eight games beats three wins in two years — by a long shot.

Godwin timing odd

Word officially came out late Friday afternoon that East Carolina was removing the “acting” designation from baseball coach Billy Godwin's title, offering him a three-year contract as Randy Mazey’s replacement.

Obviously, the timing was odd, but that has been the case with this entire story. Heck, Mazey was shagging fly balls at a fund raiser at the stadium the day before he got the news that he wouldn’t return as coach.

Coach Godwin reminded me of an award that both of us received a couple of years ago. The North Carolina High School Baseball Coaches named Godwin as the state’s college coach of the year after Louisburg made it to the Junior College World Series. That same year that organization presented me with the state’s media award.

Little did I know that it wouldn’t be long before I would get the chance to cover Coach Godwin and his team on a daily basis.

Everyone that I have talked to has nothing but great things to say about the new Pirate coach. The only knock has to be his lack of experience at the Division I level.

If everyone comes back as healthy as expected, the Pirates will have a very strong pitching staff for the ’06 season. The word is that the restocking of position players will be Godwin’s biggest challenge to start with.

Congrats to Baldwin-Tener

Congratulations to the Tener family on the birth of Matt and Sharon’s second child. Samantha Elaine was born on Friday, October 28th. She came into the world at 7 lbs and 2 oz, joining brother Luke in the Tener clan.

Coach Baldwin-Tener was back at practice on Monday afternoon.

The coach’s timing was a bit better this time. You’ll recall her son Luke arrived late in the season the year he was born.

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02/23/2007 01:32:13 AM

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