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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
By Brian Bailey

One rally shy of an ideal weekend


Trailing Marshall 5-3 in the 9th inning on Sunday, it appeared as if the Pirates had the Thundering Herd just where they wanted them.

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

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Unfortunately, Cinderella took Sunday off. There would be no miraculous comeback in the third game of the series.

Games one and two featured identical 10-9 Pirate wins. The games may have been identical in the final score, but the nature of the games was anything but the same.

On Friday night, East Carolina fell behind 8-0 with its ace, T.J. Hose on the hill. The Pirates chipped away at that lead, and then won the game as freshman Brandon Henderson went 5-5. Henderson drove in the tying run and later scored the game winner in the bottom of the 9th.

For his efforts this past week, Henderson was named as the C-USA Hitter of the Week.

Saturday’s game was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. It was then moved up to beat the rain at 1 p.m., and then moved back closer to the original time because the rains came early.

Again, East Carolina fell behind, but again, the Pirates clawed their way back. This time the Pirates poured it on with nine runs in the final four innings, capped off by Ryan Tousley’s two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth. Again, the Pirates delivered in their last at-bat.

“They were both 10-9 wins, but they were very different,” said Pirate Coach Billy Godwin. “We dug ourselves such a hole on Friday night. Then, we came all the way back. We just kept chipping away.

"On Saturday we had nothing going, down 9-7. Then we came up with four straight hits and won the game. It was amazing.”

East Carolina is off this week until nationally-ranked Tulane comes to town for the weekend. We say it every weekend, but again, this is a critical Conference USA baseball series. The Pirates are literally playing for their postseason lives each and every time out.

“This will be another big series,” said Godwin. “They’re battling for position, just like we are. This may be a little bit of a down year for what they expect at Tulane, but they are still very good. It will be a tough series, for sure.”

The Pirates hope to have the services of Jake Smith this weekend. Coach Godwin says Smith is about 80 percent right now, and he’ll take this week to get healthier.

“We need to get him back to where he’s 90-95 percent,” said Godwin. “We thought about pinch-hitting with him last weekend, but we just didn’t want to do anything to slow down his progress.”

The Pirates had hoped to sweep the Marshall series, but all things considered this ECU team will take the series win and run.

The Pirates have this week off for exams, and then host the Green Wave for the weekend.

Let’s hope Cinderella sticks around for the entire weekend, if needed. Mother Nature can take the weekend off.

Whimper impresses

This should be an exciting weekend for former East Carolina offensive lineman Guy Whimper.

The Havelock native is projected to go as high as the third round this weekend. The Dallas Morning News says Whimper is “the jack of all trades” in the draft.

Whimper started eight games at defensive end and one at linebacker in 2003, six games at tight end in 2004, then nine games at right tackle and one at left tackle in 2005.

Scott Wright’s Draft Countdown says “some team may gamble on his potential much earlier then you would anticipate.”

Scott Wright’s Draft Combine is advertised as the most popular draft site in the world.

Whimper is described on several sites as a player on the rise. His ability to adapt to several different positions during his collegiate career should pay big dividends beginning this weekend.

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

02/23/2007 01:33:40 AM


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