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From the Anchor Desk
Thursday, March 16, 2006
By Brian Bailey

Woes forgotten as Pirates find cure


East Carolina ventured south last night hoping to snap a three-game losing streak.
Mission accomplished! A 4-0 win over an arch rival had to be just what the doctor ordered.

Replay the archive of Monday night's Brian Bailey Show.

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The Pirates traveled to Cal State Fullerton last week with hopes of at least taking one of the three games in the series. The Titans, though, shut down the Bucs and outscored them 23-1 in the series.

Adam Witter provided the only Pirate run of the Fullerton series with a home run in the final game. Witter followed that dinger with a home run last night against UNC-Wilmington. He broke his slump earlier this year when he shaved his facial hair.

The Pirate pitching staff came up with a big midweek outing against the Seahawks.

Senior Brody Taylor picked up his third win of the season. Taylor had his longest outing of the year, going 6 1/3 innings and striking out 7. Kevin Rhodes, Jason Neitz and T.J. Hose combined with Taylor on the 9-inning shutout.

The key to the win came in the third inning. The Seahawks put two runners on with nobody out. The Pirates nailed one runner trying to steal third, and then Taylor fanned the next two Wilmington hitters to keep the shutout going.

It certainly wasn’t an offensive explosion at Wilmington. The Pirates collected just seven hits, led by Jake Smith and his two singles and pair of RBI’s. Smith continues to roll as the Pirate’s top hitter. Smith has a team leading average of .333. He also leads ECU with 27 RBI’s.

With the win, the Pirates improve to 13-6 on the season. Marist comes to town this weekend for a three game series at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

March Madness memories

As "March Madness" tips off, East Carolina’s Pirates are once again on the outside looking in.

Winning seasons are tough to come by at ECU. That’s why I have such fond memories of the ’93 Pirate squad that stunned the world in winning the Colonial Athletic Association championship. That victory earned East Carolina a berth in the NCAA tournament.

I can still remember watching the Pirate squad work out on the floor at Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem. East Carolina would face mighty North Carolina the next night in the late game on CBS.

I remember Coach Eddie Payne, along with stalwart players Lester Lyons and Ike Copeland, fielding questions at the official NCAA press conference. Sure, they were big underdogs, but this squad had gathered a quiet confidence in winning those three games in Richmond two weeks earlier.

Sure enough, the Pirates gave the Tar Heels a good game. North Carolina would go on to win the National Championship.

Most tournament observers said that East Carolina provided as tough a test as the Tar Heels saw until the Final Four.

I often think of that team when others talk about “March Madness.” It was such an innocent time, one that I have always appreciated.

“March Madness” is all about the underdog. Which team will be this year’s Valpo? Where will the stunning upset take place? How long will you be competitive in the office pool?

It’s a great time of the year. Here’s looking forward to the next time the Pirates punch their ticket to the big dance!

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02/23/2007 01:33:34 AM


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