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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
By Brian Bailey

A week marked by big days

By Brian Bailey
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[This week's show was rescheduled for tonight (7-8 p.m.), with guest Mack McCarthy.]

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This is shaping up to be some kind of week for our area in sports.


It all started last night at the annual Pitt-Greenville Hot Stove League Banquet. The 18th annual affair honored the area’s top amateur player, volunteer coach, contributor and corporate contributor.

Ironically, North Carolina baseball coach Mike Fox was the guest speaker. Times have certainly changed in the East Carolina-North Carolina baseball rivalry!

Fox is one of only six men to play in and then coach his alma mater in the College World Series.

Fox is a class act, and he broke the ice by saying that the Greenville crowd and the Carolina coach had some common ground.

“How many of you really like to beat N.C. State,” asked Fox. The crowd laughed and seemed to then warm up to the Tar Heel coach.

Fox won a national championship at Division III North Carolina Wesleyan in Rocky Mount. He almost won a Division I title this past year.

During his speech, Fox gave credit to several in the crowd that helped him become the head coach at North Carolina. One of the people he mentioned was East Carolina’s Billy Godwin.

Fox told that crowd that he has nothing but the greatest of respect for Godwin and his entire staff. I think we are all looking forward to some great baseball between the Pirates and the Tar Heels this season. The two teams play in Chapel Hill on April 24th, and in Greenville on May 9th.


Wednesday should be one of those “great day to be a Pirate” days.

It’s the National Signing Day for future college football players around the nation, and East Carolina’s recruiting class is top notch.

Pirate Coach Skip Holtz and his staff will bring in by far their best recruiting class. It’s a class that ranks among the best ever at ECU. Of course, time will tell, but on paper this is an outstanding group.

Our good friend “Pirate Al” is hosting a good ole fashioned pig picking to celebrate the National Signing Day on Wednesday. He’s invited all Pirate fans to take part and celebrate a great recruiting class.

Coach Holtz will host a reception later in the afternoon at the Murphy Center. The coach will have video of the signees to get everyone excited about Pirate football in the dead of winter.

We also can’t overlook the Pirate hoopsters. East Carolina goes in search of Conference USA win number one on Wednesday night, playing host to the Golden Knights of Central Florida.


Friday is truly a special day in Greenville. It’s opening day for Pirate baseball. My son has already asked if he can get out of school early so he won’t miss the opening pitch.

I’ve had a chance to sit in on several of the team’s scrimmages. I’ve said this before, but Coach Billy Godwin and his staff are constantly teaching. There is a reason for every move on the field, and Godwin and company have worked hard to talk about every baseball situation imaginable. The beauty of the game, though, is that something always comes up.

Godwin announced recently that he had fired his pitching coach. In reality, Godwin was the pitching coach, and he took the off-season to reel in veteran assistant Bill Jarman to take over those duties.

The most notable change is that Godwin will use right-hander Shane Mathews in the closer role.

“I feel good going out and looking down and being able to see someone like Shane warming up,” said Godwin.

The weekend starters to open the year are T.J. Hose, Jeff Ostrander and Dustin Sasser. I had a chance to see Hose in a scrimmage and he threw well. Ostrander has missed the last two years with arm problems, but excelled on the mound last fall for the Pirates.

Liberty comes to town for a three-game series. The Pirates then hit the road for three games at UCLA. As stated before, the Pirate schedule is probably the toughest in school history and certainly among the toughest in the nation this season.

Here’s looking forward to that first pitch on Friday!


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04/21/2008 07:04:57 PM


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