ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
By Brian Bailey
Pirates seek another turning point
By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.
Out of Action
Monday night that East Carolina junior shortstop
Dale Mollenhauer will miss between three and
four weeks with a broken bone in his hand. It’s
the same injury that Billy Richardson had a
couple of years ago, and the same one that
Clayton McCullough had when he was a Pirate. ---
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This was certainly not the
weekend that Billy Godwin and the Pirates were hoping for.
This East Carolina team had
hoped to distance itself from the
middle of the pack in Conference USA.
Unfortunately, after losing two out of three to Southern Miss, the Pirates
are smack dab in the middle of the pack.
There’s certainly still time,
and I think the Pirates are still very much on pace to make the NCAA
Sunday’s win was pivotal. The
Pirates were so distraught after the loss on Saturday that they held a team
The last time the Pirate players held a meeting like this was just after the
Campbell game, when the team was 2-5.
a pretty nice run after that first meeting.
History could repeat itself.
The Pirates have six at home, including two added games, and six on the road
to finish the year. The most difficult of the road assignments is this
weekend at Houston.
Sunday's win featured a pair
First, Josh Dowdy continued to
show just how steady he is as a Sunday starter. Dowdy didn’t strike many
out, but that’s been the trend all year.
“That’s how it’s been going,”
said Dowdy. “The strikeouts really haven’t been there but I’ve been getting
a lot of ground ball and fly ball outs.”
Dowdy has his own theory on
“I stayed ahead in a lot of
the counts,” he explained. “When you’re ahead it makes the hitters think a
lot more and I’m thinking less. When I’m thinking less, it’s always better.”
That’s pretty much how I feel
about life itself.
Sunday’s other hero was big
Kyle Roller. Roller may become a folk hero in his years at East Carolina if
he keeps blasting the long ball. He sent Coach Skip Holtz another souvenir
with his two-run homer on Sunday.
“It was a change up down and
in,” said Roller. “I kept my hands in and got enough of it to get it out.”
“Roller is going to be a great
hitter at East Carolina,” said Coach Godwin. “He has given us some quality
at bats through this stretch when he’s been playing.”
Roller is a pure hitter, but
word from the team is that his defense has gotten better.
“He’s always got his batting
gloves on,” continued Godwin, laughing. “We wonder if he slept with them.”
Another kind of win on
It won’t go on the team’s
record for the season but the Pirates did get a great win on Saturday
Coach Godwin and the team
hosted Greenville’s Challenger League players to a special exhibition game
at Clark-LeClair Stadium. Greenville’s league has grown from four teams in
its first year, to eight teams in this third season of play.
Each Pirate player served as a
buddy for the Challenger players. Each player's name was announced on the
public address system at the stadium.
The smiles were bright and
wide during the entire 90-minute game.
“You could really see that the
Pirate players enjoyed working with the children,” said John Harer, an ECU
professor who helped bring Challenger baseball to Greenville.
Here’s an ECU team that had
suffered a disappointing loss just hours before. This same team would try to
bounce back with a Saturday night game. In between, the Pirates gave some 70
children with special needs an afternoon that many of them will never
It’s been my privilege to
coach in the Challenger League for a second straight season. I can tell you
first hand that Saturday’s game with the Pirates was the highlight of those
two years for members of the Cubs in the Greenville Challenger League.
If you have a minute one
Saturday, come by the Perkins Little League Complex off of 14th Street. You
might catch the Cubs against the Marlins, or the Braves battling the Tigers.
You also just might shed a
tear or two, when you see just how much baseball means to some that struggle
just to make it to the next day.
I know the Cubs have taught me
a life lesson or two.
Thank you to Coach Godwin and
the Pirate baseball team for a great day!
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04/21/2008 07:07:02 PM