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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 28, 2008

By Brian Bailey

All in a day's work

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

(Photos for this article, including the image on the
front page, were submitted to

Coach Drew Steele (left) with Brian Bailey

East Carolina baseball coach Billy Godwin probably had a thousand things on his mind this past Saturday morning.

On Tuesday, his Pirates had rallied from six runs down to beat stubborn Elon.

On Wednesday, his squad played perhaps its most complete game all season, shutting out top-ranked North Carolina 4-0. That win came in front of the largest crowd to ever watch a regular season baseball game in North Carolina.

Then on Friday night, his team built a seven-run lead, only to watch Southern Miss chip away and chip away. The Pirates held on for a 7-6 win over the Golden Eagles.

On Saturday morning, Coach Godwin could have been enjoying a cup of coffee, filling out the first of what would be two different line-up cards. Saturday featured a doubleheader courtesy of television and CBS College Sports.

But instead of taking a break early on what would be a long day of baseball, Billy Godwin threw what may have been the best pitch of his career.

Godwin was the guest of honor for Greenville’s Challenger baseball league. He arrived shortly after 9 a.m. and stayed around talking baseball and shaking hands with the players for the better part of an hour.

Big Red Smile

He also got a chance to speak to the group and he told the players that he and his team were looking forward to May 17th, when the Pirate baseball program will host the Challenger players at Clark-LeClair Stadium for the third annual exhibition game.

Godwin toed the rubber and threw a perfect strike to my buddy Drew Steele, who serves as one of the coaches in the league. Drew has teamed with Pirate football coach Skip Holtz to raise half a million dollars to refurbish Elm Street Gym in Greenville. That check presentation to the City of Greenville will come next week.

Godwin’s pitch was a perfect strike. The crowd roared. Drew had a big smile and an even bigger hug for Coach Godwin.

The Challenger season was underway.

Coach Billy Godwin gets set on the mound.

Coach Godwin hurried on off to Clark-LeClair Stadium for that doubleheader with Southern Miss. The Challenger players, as they do each week in the season, were able to forget their own individual issues and enjoy a day of baseball.

Lou Gehrig once said, “There is no room in baseball for discrimination. It is our national pastime and a game for all.”

You really understand just how pure the game is when you see the joy on the children’s faces in the Challenger League.

Thanks, Coach Godwin. You made their special day that much more so!

Pirates move up in rankings

Last week’s 4-1 record nudged the Pirates up in the national polls.

The Pirates were ranked as high as 21st in the nation. Both the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the Ping Baseball polls had ECU at 21. The Pirates actually rose eight spots in that Ping poll.

East Carolina moved up two slots in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll to 22. Baseball America had ECU at 25 and Collegiate Baseball had the Pirates at 30 this past week.

The Pirates will start Conference USA pitcher of the week Kevin Brandt tonight against Elon. The Pirate coaches will staff the mound in a manner that Brandt won’t see a lot of work.

East Carolina is at home for the weekend with three non-conference games against Louisiana-Lafayette. The weather is expected to be great so it should be another big weekend on the diamond.


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04/28/2009 03:00:44 AM


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