ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Saturday, May 24, 2008
By Brian Bailey
Another downer courtesy
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NEW ORLEANS — For the
second time in this Conference USA Baseball Tournament, Houston had just
enough to slip past East Carolina.
Friday night’s game was
another nail biter. In the end, the Pirates just didn’t get enough hits or
make enough plays offensively to win.
This explosive Pirate
offense managed just four hits off of a pair of Houston right-handers.
One of those hits came
in the first. Harrison Eldridge led off the game for East Carolina with a
solo home run. It would be the only run the Pirates would come up with.
“I was just trying to
give my team a spark,” said Eldridge. “I really just wanted to hit the ball
hard somewhere. I hit it pretty good and it took off.”
Pirate offense failed to take off. ECU managed just three more hits the rest
of the way.
Still, the Pirates had a
chance in the ninth. Brandon Henderson was hit by a pitch and Corey Kemp
walked. Stephen Batts' sacrifice attempt failed, and pinch runner Trent
Ashcraft was gunned down at third. Ryan Wood went down looking and then Kyle
Roller struck out to end the game.
“There were certainly
opportunities in that game where we could have scored some runs,” said
Godwin. “You have to execute when you’re playing postseason ball when there
is lots at stake. I don’t think we did a very good job of that.”
The Pirates got winning
efforts on the mound and with the team’s defense. Sthil Sowers wriggled out
of a couple of early jams. He pitched 5.1 innings, giving up six hits and
two earned runs. Josh Ruhlman pitched three strong innings, giving up just
Seth Simmons walked a
couple but did get a couple of key outs. One of those outs came on an
attempted squeeze play.
For the second straight
day, the Pirates cut down a runner on a squeeze. Simmons rushed to the ball,
slid and flipped it to Corey Kemp, who caught it barehanded and made the
The home plate umpire
was still talking about the play after the inning. Kemp caught the ball
barehanded, blocked the plate beautifully, and made the tag.
Stephen Batts came up
big in left field in the 9th. Batts leaped at the wall and hauled in Jake
Stewart’s drive to open the frame.
The Pirates now get set
for what they believe is sure to be a road trip next week in the NCAA
You hope to be playing
your best baseball at this point of the season. Right now, the Pirate bats
are just not getting the job done. You don’t win many games with just four
It’s hard to be
disappointed with a 40-19 record and a strong RPI. The squad was scheduled
to bus back to Greenville from New Orleans.
“We’ll just try to flush
this one away,” Harrison Eldridge added. “We know that we have a great
offensive team. We just have to get it back. I think we’re all looking
forward to the postseason.”
If the Pirates hit, they
can play with anyone. If not, it will be another frustrating weekend.
The club will learn its fate
at 12:30 p.m. on Monday.
The road to Omaha is a bumpy
one, especially running through New Orleans.
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05/27/2008 02:27:18 AM