ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
By Brian Bailey
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All I could think about
was what happened to the Georgia Dome during the SEC Basketball
Tournament this year.
Tornados ripped through the
downtown Atlanta area that night, ripping apart the dome in a couple of
sections. The tournament had to be moved to Georgia Tech because of all the
So when the text alert came
during the Purple-Gold football game on Saturday saying that there was a
tornado warning for Pitt County I knew that action had to come quickly.
Several at East Carolina received similar messages, and within minutes the
crowd was directed to Minges Coliseum to take shelter.
It was lucky for all of us
that the weather really didn’t cause any problems at all. In fact, if Coach
Skip Holtz and his staff knew that the storms would move on so quickly,
there probably would have been a second half of football.
Holtz was obviously
disappointed with how things ended.
“I hate to end spring that
way,” said Holtz. “Especially when you walk back outside, and it looks like
it’s breaking and clearing. I know there’s another storm coming in. I hated
to end it that way because we only have three of these scrimmages.”
Both quarterbacks played well
in that first half of football. Rob Kass completed eight-of-14 passes for 95
yards to lead East Carolina, and Patrick Pinkney was 7-of-14 for 80 yards
and a touchdown for the Pirates.
Pinkney hit red shirt freshman
Darryl Freeney with a 38-yard scoring strike for the only touchdown of the
Pinkney will enter camp as the
top quarterback on the depth chart.
“I think Patrick Pinkney’s
ability to run around with his feet on third down is a real weapon,” said
Holtz. “We’ll check out the film and make some other decisions with a lot of
If there was a negative to the
spring, Holtz says that he has yet to find the leadership that this team
will need against a brutal start to the schedule this fall.
“I don’t think it’s because of
a lack of will, desire or want to, but when you take the number of players
we had out, it’s very hard to put the big picture together,” Holtz
explained. “I think it’s going to be critical that we have a phenomenal
summer and fall camp. I think it’s going to put a lot of pressure on this
team to play the caliber of opponent we start the season with."
The Pirates open the year in
Charlotte against Virginia Tech.
Drama for Pirate baseball
East Carolina’s Diamond
Pirates swept through a perfect week. ECU beat Old Dominion, Elon and then
swept Marshall in a three-game series.
The Pirates beat the Monarchs
on a Jamie Ray pinch-hit homer, came from behind to roll past Elon late, and
then had walk-off wins in games two and three with the Thundering Herd.
On Saturday night, Ray came to
the rescue with another clutch pinch-hit, a double off the left field wall
to score the game-winner in a 4-3 Pirate win.
On Sunday, ECU trailed most of
the way. Marshall clung to a 3-1 lead in the 8th, when Kyle Roller hit a
home run to cut the lead to a single run.
In the 9th, Harrison Eldridge
hit a triple with one out. He scored on a Ryan Wood single to tie the game
With two out, Corey Kemp took
a two-strike pitch and deposited it over the left field wall for another
walk-off Pirate victory.
Kemp arrived back at home
plate with a huge smile to start the celebration.
“I just (thank) the Lord for
giving me the strength to stick with it,” said Kemp, out of breath after
taking a couple of leaps into the jungle in the outfield as he celebrated
with the fans.
“I had a rough day before
that,” Kemp continued. “He threw a slider in earlier in the at bat and I
took it for a strike. It was tough but I guess I did enough to fight it off
and hit it into left. I guess Mr. Wind helped me again!"
For head coach Billy Godwin,
his club’s seventh win in a row was perhaps the toughest to get.
“I thought we came out a
little flat,” said Godwin. “Maybe you credit their pitcher. Whatever it was
we hung in there and won it in the end.”
“We talked about this being
‘Separation Sunday,’ added Godwin. "We knew if we could get the sweep we
could position ourselves for a big weekend series next week at Rice.”
First up, though, it’s an
N.C. State team that has had the Pirates number of late.
“We really want to go there
and show everyone that we can beat N.C. State and that we can certainly play
with any team in the ACC,” said Harrison Eldridge. “We certainly know that
we have something to prove.”
Last week was a big week for
Pirate baseball. This week is even bigger.
These next six days will go a
long way in determining if the Pirates can host an NCAA regional in college
baseball’s post season party!
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04/21/2008 07:08:43 PM