ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
By Brian Bailey
UCLA next in Pirates' marathon
By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.
in on the radio or catch the live Internet feed
of The Brian Bailey Show with WNCT-TV 9
Sports Director Brian Bailey, each Monday
night from 7-8 p.m.
Select Live Stream
TALK 1070 INSTANT REPLAY:
past Brian Bailey Shows, including Monday
night's program featuring East Carolina baseball
coach Billy Godwin:
Select Archive Clip
I’ve been talking and writing
about opening day for East Carolina baseball for several weeks.
I can’t remember ever missing
an opening day since my first back in 1985.
I learned quickly when I first
arrived in Greenville that Pirate baseball was very important to the sports
community. We have always covered it like that at WNCT-TV.
I spent part of my afternoon
on the day before opening day conducting a short interview with ECU head
coach Billy Godwin. The Pirates were going through a light workout on the
eve before the first game.
That night, the dreaded
stomach flu hit me just before the 11:20 sportscast. Somehow, we got thru
the segment in the newscast.
For those of you that have had
it, I feel your pain. It was the absolute worst sickness that I’ve had in my
44 years. I spent opening day listening to the broadcasts from bed.
The Pirates lost in that first
game and I know that Coach Godwin and company were disappointed. I was
scheduled to interview Coach Godwin live after the game, so my assistant,
Brad Lewis took over the assignment.
A dejected Godwin said, “We’ve
kind of gotten over the fact now that we’re not going to be undefeated this
Liberty’s Errol Hollinger hit
a grand slam in the opener, and the Pirates really never recovered in that
I made it to most of
Saturday’s game, in which East Carolina bounced back with a victory.
That set up Sunday’s rubber
game of the series. Dale Mollenhauer put it out of reach with a grand slam.
The Pirates took two out of three from a pesky Liberty team that had won 39
games in 2006.
“We take away a series win,”
said Godwin on Sunday. “If we win every series then we’ll have a good year.
We just have to build on it. We can’t get too high or too low. The season is
definitely a marathon, and not a sprint.”
Although T.J. Hose struggled
on Friday, the Pirate pitching staff gets high marks on the weekend. Jeff
Ostrander made five starts in 2005 and then missed all of ’06 with Tommy
John surgery. He found his groove after the first couple of frames.
Dustin Sasser was clutch on
Sunday, controlling the Flames in scattering five hits and giving up just
one earned run in picking up that victory.
“Pitching on Sunday, I just
get a chance to really see the hitters in a series,” said Sasser. “I just
thought that I needed to get ahead, and then use my off speed late.”
Godwin couldn’t have been any
“He (Sasser) was outstanding.
His fastball was down in the zone. He had great command of his change up. If
he pitches like that through out the year then he’ll have a great season.”
On offense, the Pirates banged
out 15 hits on Sunday. Leadoff hitter Harrison Eldridge led the way with
four. For Eldridge, it was just part of an outstanding opening weekend.
“I like leading off,” said
Eldridge. “My job is to get on base. I need to see a lot of pitches at the
“This was definitely a team
effort," noted Eldridge. "I’m pretty pleased that I did well myself but I
don’t take credit for anything I do, it’s all a team effort.”
Now the Pirates head west to
UCLA. It’s a trip that this entire program is eagerly anticipating.
“We are looking forward to
it,” said Eldridge. “We know UCLA has a tough ball club and we’re anxious to
see what we can do.”
The Pirate Nation is anxious
as well. This past weekend wasn’t a perfect start, but it was a series win.
As Coach Godwin said, if the
Pirates can win every series, then it will be a good season!
Send an e-mail message to
Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville
04/21/2008 07:04:24 PM