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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
By Brian Bailey

Pirates warming to the task in wintry start


Credit the East Carolina players and coaches for not making the weather a big issue this February.

Replay the archive of Monday night's Brian Bailey Show, with guest Billy Godwin, ECU's head baseball coach.

Select clip

The Pirates took two out of three from Maryland last weekend, splitting a frigid doubleheader on Sunday that included snow flurries. This past weekend, ECU again won two out of three, beating the College of Charleston in a series that featured crazy twists in the weather.

Friday’s 5-0 win over the Cougars featured a 70-degree day and a great Pirate effort. Pitcher T.J. Hose picked up his second win of the season after firing six shutout innings.

Saturday’s weather was simply miserable. It was cold and wet and just an absolute mess. Still, the Pirates once again slowed down the Cougars, winning 4-2.

The sun returned on Sunday, but still the temperatures barely made it over the freezing mark. It was a long, cold afternoon at the park, made colder when the College of Charleston bats heated up. The Cougars out-hit the Pirates 16-6 in rallying for an 11-8 victory.

Make no mistake about it. East Carolina’s goal was to take this series against the Cougars, but to a man everyone was disappointed in the outcome of the third game.

“We saw a lot of positives this past weekend,” Coach Billy Godwin said on my weekly radio/cable show last night. “We just wanted to finish better, and we made some mistakes.”

Duke comes to town today for a single game at 3 p.m. Former J.H. Rose star Mike Flye will get the start for the Pirates against the Blue Devils. The weather is expected to be nice, a great change from the weekend.

“I really don’t think the weather was that big of a deal,” said Godwin. “Once you move around a little bit and get your body temperature up, it wasn’t that bad.”

Godwin seems to be at ease as the Pirate coach. His coaching career certainly hit the fast track last fall when he replaced Randy Mazey as the Pirate’s skipper. One minute Godwin was the new pitching coach; the next minute he was in charge of the entire program.

Godwin cites three keys for the success of the program: “East Carolina has such a great history and tradition in baseball. Also, we have such a great administration in place. And, the Pirate fans are the best anywhere.”

Bermuda Triangle

The 2006 season is only six games old, and already we’ve seen some crazy things.

First, on opening day, Jake Smith hit a check swing home run to right field. Jake checked his swing, and the ball took off, aided by a strong wind blowing out to right field.

This past Sunday, the College of Charleston had a pair of outfielders who struggled in left field. The first guy missed two easy plays. Later, a new outfielder again botched a fly ball. I’ve seen guys make one mistake, but I’ve never seen a team totally lose it like the Cougars' defense did.

“It was sort of like the Bermuda Triangle out there,” said Godwin.

Give credit to the “Jungle” out in left field as well. I certainly wouldn’t want to play left field against East Carolina. Evidently, the Cougars didn’t have anyone that wanted to play left field either.

On deck: The LeClair Classic

East Carolina plays host to the 3rd annual Keith LeClair Classic this weekend at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The Pirates will play Penn State in their first game on Friday at 5:00. ECU then matches up with rival UNC-Wilmington on Saturday before taking on Virginia Tech on Sunday.

North Carolina State and West Virginia are also in the tournament’s field. For true college baseball fans, it’s a great weekend to get a chance to see several different teams. Games start each day at 10 a.m.

Here’s hoping the weather cooperates. If it doesn’t, it looks like we’ll all be bundled up at the stadium to check out some great baseball!

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

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

02/23/2007 01:33:29 AM


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