ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
By Brian Bailey
Pirates on defense about
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You’re not going to sweep
every series in Conference USA play, but the goal is certainly to win
each weekend set, especially those played at home.
That’s why the three-game
series with Houston this past weekend was especially disappointing for East
Carolina. These are the types of series that make or break a team trying to
host a regional come May.
The series was very
reminiscent of the South Carolina series last month. Houston put a real
whipping on this Pirate team in Friday’s game, only to see East Carolina
return the favor on Saturday.
On Sunday, the Pirates fell
down by five, only to rally to tie the game. But the bullpen couldn’t keep
things even, and the Pirates dropped the rubber match 8-5.
“We got down and we came
back,” said Pirate coach Billy Godwin. “Overall, defensively, we gave away
too many runs. That can’t happen in a conference weekend with a good
opponent. We’ve got a good offensive club and we know that, but that puts a
lot of pressure on your offense if you don’t make the plays defensively.”
The Pirates were held to just
four hits in the Sunday finale. It was the lowest hit total of the season in
a game for ECU. Add in a trio of miscues, and you got an Easter Sunday the
Pirates would just as soon forget.
“Maybe you can credit their
pitcher,” continued Godwin. “I though we had some good swings. We hit some
balls hard at times. It’s a funny game. I think it’s a whole lot different
if we go out and make plays.”
At times, this squad just
doesn’t seem comfortable on defense. Drew Schieber’s back may still be
bothering him. Godwin has tinkered with his defense all year long. That
process may have to continue.
East Carolina’s 13-game home
stand concludes with Wednesday night’s match up with Campbell. The Pirates
then hit the road in C-USA play this coming weekend at Central Florida.
Godwin hinted that there might
be some changes to come as his team heads to Orlando.
“Every series we play is
important. That’s the way it is from here on out on the weekends. This crowd
will regroup and bounce back. We’ve go to iron out a few things. We’ll
concentrate on Campbell first and then UCF for the weekend.”
Mac is the Man
Unfortunately, I was out of
town in Florida at a funeral when the news broke concerning Mack McCarthy’s
promotion to the full-time head coaching position.
I spoke to Coach Mac briefly
on Friday and he seemed excited and relieved that the decision had been
made. He, more then anyone, knows just how much work still lies ahead for
the Pirate basketball program.
It’s a tough nut to crack, but
McCarthy has cracked tough nuts before at Chattanooga and at Virginia
Commonwealth. He received a five-year contract, giving him enough time to
carry out his plan in Greenville.
It will be interesting to see
just what else is in store for the basketball program. Obviously, you have
to walk before you can run. The Pirates took a huge first step in inking
McCarthy to his contract.
The next move is to create
greater interest in the program. Winning will help in that area, but
somehow, someway, going to a Pirate basketball game has to become the
thing to do during the season.
East Carolina has to figure
out a way to make going to the games as fan friendly as possible. I think
it’s sort of like minor league baseball. Most fans don’t know any of the
players, but the fans know that a night at the ballpark is fun on many
I bet Coach McCarthy has some
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04/21/2008 07:01:21 PM