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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 5, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Bucs reaching for postseason plums

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

Billy Godwin

Photo: ECU SID


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East Carolina baseball coach Billy Godwin had a vision with sixteen games to go.

“It’s like an NFL season,” said Godwin heading into the stretch run. “If you go 13-3, you get a bye, or in our case a shot to host a regional. If you go 8-8, you might be wild card or you might not make it. It’s that easy.”

The Pirates are currently on a nine-game winning streak. ECU has a series with Tulane this weekend, followed by a single game at home with UNC-Wilmington and then a series at Memphis.

The Pirates were an offensive machine in this past weekend’s sweep of UAB. East Carolina racked up an even dozen home runs. The Pirates blew out UAB in the first two games, and then fought off a Blazer comeback attempt in the third game.

“I thought we played about as well as we can play for the most part,” said Godwin. “We held off a rally right there (in the third game) and that’s something that we haven’t had to do in a while. I think that shows as much character as going out and piling up a bunch of runs.”

Next up, it’s Tulane for a three-game series. These games should feature a postseason type of atmosphere. The Pirates wrap up exams this week, and then get set to zero in on a run at the NCAA tournament.

“Every series is big in Conference USA,” continued Godwin. “But this one means so much for the postseason. When we talk about important series this late in the year, that’s a good thing because there are a lot of teams who aren’t talking about series being important at this time.

"We’re putting together a resume for the postseason, even to host. Our guys know that and know what they are playing for.”

It has always baffled me that baseball has so many different rankings. This week, East Carolina is not ranked by Baseball America. However, the Pirates are ranked 21st by Collegiate Baseball, 23rd by Rivals, and 24th by USA Today, Ping Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

After the Tulane series, UNC-Wilmington comes to town for a single game. The Seahawks are a very good team that East Carolina has handled quite easily in two earlier meetings this season.

The regular season concludes at Memphis. The Tigers are near the bottom of the Conference USA standings, and could be playing just to make it into the C-USA tournament field of eight teams.

If you haven’t made it to a Pirate baseball game this season, this is the time to make it out to the ballpark. This weekend, Clark-LeClair Stadium will have an electric atmosphere.

Every pitch is critical in baseball’s postseason. That’s what we’ll see starting Friday. Tulane and East Carolina are two of the best in Conference USA.

I think the Pirates need to win the series to host. A third win over UNC-Wilmington certainly wouldn’t hurt. A sweep at Memphis may be the deciding factor in the NCAA hosts roll.

If all of that comes to pass, the Pirates would head to the C-USA tournament at 42-14, good enough in my opinion to host the NCAA’s at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The Tulane series is critical. Just think what a sweep would do.

It is a make or break weekend for the Diamond Pirates!


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05/06/2008 12:57:14 AM


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