ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
By Brian Bailey
Program making progress
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East Carolina athletic
director Terry Holland gave Mack McCarthy a season to show improvement
within the school's basketball program.
Coach Mac took over a train
wreck this past summer, and his own team has had its share of ups and downs.
If the goal was improvement,
then there is no doubt as to what Coach Holland should do at season's end.
I still think Coach McCarthy
should have gotten a contract after the win over North Carolina State. But
Holland said he’d wait until the end of the season, and so far he’s sticking
to that idea.
Houston came to town as a 10
and 1/2-point favorite to beat East Carolina. But the Pirates shot the
lights out from three-point range and hung tough until late in the second
Houston was up four and had
the basketball. But an improved Pirate basketball team made the plays down
the stretch to win it. James Legan shot his way out of a slump with two huge
threes, and then the Pirates came up big on defense in the final seconds.
East Carolina won the game
84-83 in one of the best games we’ve seen in sometime at Williams Arena.
The Pirate players continue to
send their support to Coach Mac.
“As a senior, I don’t want to
see another coach next year,” said junior Sam Hinnant after his 30-point
performance against the Cougars. “He’s (Coach McCarthy) like a big brother
Senior Darrell Jenkins also
“I think he can get it done
here,” said Jenkins. “Let him have a chance to get some recruits in here
with this coaching staff.”
The Pirates now try to figure
out a way to play better on the road. That’s probably the most disappointing
part of this season for Mack McCarthy.
ECU closes out the regular
season at Rice and at Tulane, and then it’s on to the Conference USA
tournament in Memphis.
“We played two of our best
games of the year,” said McCarthy after victories over Southern Methodist
and Houston. “It’ll be interesting to see if we can build on that and go win
on the road. We’ve proven we can continue to improve as the conference
season goes on, no matter what happens.
"Now we’ve got to prove that
we can win on an enemy court.”
Pitchers stepping up
East Carolina’s baseball
weekend got off to a slow start with a 4-3 loss to Monmouth on Friday night.
The Pirates came back strong
on Saturday and Sunday, winning 11-2 and 6-0 to take the series.
The highlight of the weekend
was the Pirate pitching staff, especially Sunday starter Justin Bristow.
Bristow threw a complete game
two-hit shutout. He was absolutely brilliant, facing 31 batters, walking one
and striking out six. He did hit a couple of batters, but gave up only a
double in the third and a single in the fourth.
The three Pirate starters for
the weekend all had great ERA’s. Bristow led way with his complete game
shutout for a big zero of an earned run average. Seth Maness went 5 and 1/3
with a 1.69 ERA, while T.J. Hose was at 1.35 in 6 and 2/3.
The ECU hurlers struck out 23
batters this weekend, while walking only four.
The Pirates were one strike
away from posting a win in the first game of the series. The Hawks scored
three runs with two outs in the frame to rally for the opening game win.
“I was pleased with how
the guys bounced back after a disappointing loss on Friday night,” said
head coach Billy Godwin after Sunday's finale. “I think sometimes
failure is our best teacher. Our guys came out and had a point to prove.
Today was as good as we’ve played with our pitching, offense and
The Pirates swiped 14 of 15
base attempts against Monmouth with Harrison Eldridge collecting seven
steals. Eldridge is 10-10 for the season.
East Carolina heads north for
a pair of games this week. ECU meets Old Dominion on Tuesday, and then
battles Virginia Commonwealth on Wednesday.
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04/21/2008 07:06:04 PM