ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
By Brian Bailey
Pirates settle for watching postseason
By Brian Bailey
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I don’t really know what would
have happened if East Carolina had closed out North Carolina last weekend.
The Pirates would have needed
only one more win to advance. Sure, there wasn’t any guarantee, but you have
to like ECU’s chances, had the Pirates held on.
East Carolina didn’t hang on
and the better team advanced to the Super Regionals. The Tar Heels then took
care of business again, beating South Carolina to advance to the College
Baseball World Series.
UNC-Chapel Hill coach Mike Fox
opened his baseball season by speaking very highly about East Carolina coach
Billy Godwin and his staff at the annual Pitt-Greenville Hot Stove League
Banquet. It was my first chance to meet Coach Fox and I came away most
The thing I remember most
about my interview with Coach Fox was the look in his eyes when he talked
about the CWS. His Tar Heels should have won the World Series in 2006, and
he had the look of a man who knew that he might never get that close again.
The Tar Heels will get another
chance. It certainly wasn’t easy, as ECU, Western Carolina and South
Carolina all had their chances to block the path to Omaha.
A friend of mine asked me to
go to Omaha to visit one season. I told him I’d take a pass, that I wanted
to make the trip when East Carolina gets to Omaha. I just think it would
mean more to me, personally.
I did the same thing back in
1998. I had a chance to go to Williamsport earlier in my career but decided
to wait. I really had no idea that a Greenville team would make it there,
but I decided to wait anyway.
That trip to Williamsport
ranks as one of my all time highs as a sportscaster at WNCT-TV. It was
absolutely breathtaking, much like I believe Rosenblatt Stadium will be for
the College Baseball World Series.
I hate that the baseball
season is over for East Carolina. I thought this team overachieved in
several areas. They were certainly fun to watch and put on a great show.
I enjoyed Harrison Eldridge’s
hustle; Dale Mollenhauer’s grace at shortstop; Stephen Batts' hitting
streak; Kyle Roller’s sheer power; Shane Mathews' bulldog attitude; and the
list could easily go on and on.
The Pirates will watch this
CWS knowing that they can compete on this same level. ECU swept Cal State
Fullerton, but failed to beat UNC-Chapel Hill or Rice, though some of the
games were close. Michigan is also still alive, and the Pirates swept the
The Pirates coined the phrase
“We’re going!” a while back.
It won’t be this year, but I
sincerely believe Coach Keith LeClair’s dream will come true down the road!
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06/12/2007 03:03:39 AM