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

Pirates clicking heading into big week


Rarely does a team get a chance to complete two sweeps in the same week.
That’s the case for East Carolina.

Replay the archive of Monday night's Brian Bailey Show, with guest Mike Steele.

Select clip

The Pirates polished off Marist this past weekend, and now need a win tomorrow night to complete the season sweep of UNC-Wilmington.

East Carolina is 16-6 on the year, with half the team’s losses coming against nationally ranked Cal State Fullerton.

Pirate head coach Billy Godwin was pleased with this past weekend’s sweep of the Red Foxes.

“We played good baseball,” said Godwin on Monday. “Overall, in the four aspects of the game, pitching, defense, we swung the bats better and we ran the bases better. The key is that this team continues to get better.”

The Seahawks return to Greenville tomorrow night. East Carolina beat UNCW in the Keith LeClair Classic and then won in Wilmington last week.

“We feel good about having them at home,” said Godwin. “We certainly have a lot of respect for UNC-Wilmington. We played well in the first two games and I hope we can play well again this time.”

Godwin fitting In

I asked Coach Godwin if he was happy with his team’s 16-6 start.

“I’d really rather be 22-0,” said Godwin. “Realistically, we’ve done some pretty good things. But now is the time to step up and get ready because the schedule really gets tough."

Things moved faster then the speed of sound for Godwin since his arrival last fall. But the first year Pirate coach has certainly had a steadying influence on this ECU baseball team.

“It really hasn’t been a blur,” Godwin said. “My head coaching background has really helped me.”

Godwin says he’s also been blessed by a very mature team, led by the likes of Adam Witter and Jake Smith.

“I continue to be overwhelmed by our team’s maturity level," he said. "The players really make it happen.”

Godwin also knows that you win with pitching and defense. The East Carolina staff struggled with injuries in 2005. The hurlers have certainly come back strong this season.

“I’ve been very pleased,” said Godwin. “I knew going into the year that we wouldn’t have a 90 (mph) plus guy out there. We’ve got guys who have command of three pitches, with their fastballs topping out in the high 80’s.”

On deck: C-USA's best

East Carolina hits the road again this weekend for the start of league play, visiting 4th-ranked Rice.

The Pirates have already played one series against a Top 10 program, dropping all three games to Fullerton.

“We try to wipe the slate clean,” said Godwin. “We really think the Fullerton trip will help us, despite the fact that we didn’t have a lot of success there. We’re not going to talk about what we didn’t do. We’ll focus more on what we’re going to do this week.

"Rice is really good, but I think we can play with anyone in our league.”

If you’re looking for a comparison, the Owls took two out of three from the Titans earlier this season.

Godwin wrapped it up with these words: “We’re certainly not leaving here Thursday thinking we can’t win.”

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02/23/2007 01:33:34 AM


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