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From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
By Brian Bailey

ECU looks to reignite against Heels

By Brian Bailey
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ECU Baseball Schedule
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I’d say winning three games on the road against Conference USA's second place team is some kind of way to set the stage for a big home stand.

Unfortunately, East Carolina lost some of that momentum with Tuesday night’s 8-6 loss to the Citadel.

Ryan Wood stayed white hot, going 4-5 with two home runs in the loss.

The Pirates now hope to build on their 32-win resume to date. East Carolina stands at 32-16 after that loss to the Bulldogs.

The weekend sweep of Houston was truly something special. The heroes were many. That list begins on the mound, with this week’s C-USA Pitcher of the Week, T.J. Hose. Hose got the Pirates off to a great start in Friday night’s 3-1 win. The junior went 7 2/3 innings, giving up just four hits.

Hose struck out five and walked one. Most impressively, he retired 16 of 18 batters he faced, including 14 in a row, after giving up a first inning hit.

Dustin Sasser and Josh Dowdy followed suit. In fact, the Pirate pitching staff allowed the Cougars just four earned runs all weekend long. Billy Godwin’s three weekend starters gave up four runs (only three of them earned) on 13 hits with 11 strikeouts and nine walks.

How about the weekend Jamie Ray had down in Texas! Ray’s grand slam in the top of the 9th on Saturday night gave ECU the win in game two of the series. Over the last two weeks, Ray is hitting a team-best .458 (11-for-24) with two home runs, nine RBI's, two doubles, a triple and six runs scored.

Ray followed his grand slam effort with a 3-for-4 outing, an RBI and three runs scored day on Sunday. Ray was a part of that six-run fourth inning that blew open game three.

What a difference a weekend makes!

After losing the first two games at home to Southern Miss the previous weekend, the Pirates held a closed door meeting. The last time this squad held such a meeting, its record was just 2-5. That next stretch vaulted the Pirates into the Top 25 in all of the major polls.

Since the Saturday night loss to Southern Miss, the Pirates have won four our of five, with three of those wins coming on the road.

Now, the Pirates are back at home for five more big games before leaving town again.

A capacity crowd is expected at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Wednesday, with UNC-Chapel Hill paying a visit. The Tar Heels blew out ECU in Chapel Hill two weeks ago.

The Tar Heels will come to Greenville with a national ranking of five or higher in the polls. If ever there was a “revenge” game, this would be it. This East Carolina team has competed and beaten several outstanding teams this season. They would like nothing more then to add the Heels to that list.

Pitching, defense and timely hitting is a great recipe for a championship. Those three phases of the game were most evident against the Cougars over the past weekend.

There are just nine games left on the schedule, and the Pirates stand at 32 wins against an outstanding schedule. The sky’s the limit as far where this team can end up for the postseason.

All of the goals are still in sight for this Pirate team. It should be an interesting couple of weeks, for sure.


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04/21/2008 07:08:35 PM


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