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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, July 14, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Godwin active on multiple fronts

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

East Carolina baseball coach Billy Godwin has been a busy camper of late, literally.

East Carolina’s baseball camps have long been a staple of summer. Godwin and his staff run the camps. With his top assistant headed to Auburn, the work has mounted up for the rest of the coaches.

Help, though, is on the way.

Godwin is set to announce Link Jarrett’s replacement as early as Tuesday afternoon. I believe Pirate fans will be extremely pleased with the choice. Coach Godwin didn’t want to comment further until all of the paperwork is complete.

Godwin has also had his eye on his 2009 recruiting class. Nothing has changed of late, with Mike Trout and Walker Gourley signing their professional contracts.

Godwin says each of the unsigned draftees has a certain “number” in mind as far making the jump to the pros goes.

Nick McBride was selected in the 5th round by the Texas Rangers. Godwin says the last time he spoke to McBride that he and the Rangers weren’t close in negotiations.

John Wooten was picked by the Padres in the 20th round. Wooten may be the best hitter in the state and his Dad was a Pirate. Wooten stopped by the Pirate baseball offices on Monday. Godwin says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that Wooten will spend some time at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

Four recruits are working out and attending summer school. Those four are Joseph Hughes, Chris Gosik, Tyler Joyner and Tanner Merritt.

Chris Heston is the lone Pirate, so far, who could have returned who has already signed.

Beach time

Like so many in eastern North Carolina, I had a chance to vacation for a bit at the beach last week.

My travels sent me to a wonderful little spot down at Topsail Beach. One sign said it was Mayberry in the sand. It was absolutely amazing, a true throwback to the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. There was a post office, a couple of restaurants, a putt-putt course, a skating rink and miles and miles of beautiful beaches.

I ran into a guy with many ties to eastern North Carolina that week. Former Campbell coach Billy Lee calls Topsail home. Lee was an assistant at East Carolina for a couple of years starting in 1976 and earned an ECU Master of Arts in Education degree along the way.

Lee coached in our state for over three decades. He spent 18 seasons at Campbell, and battled East Carolina numerous times through the years.

Lee was very complimentary of the Pirates and the ECU fan base. He said he always enjoyed playing in Greenville.

The coach spent the past three seasons at St. Andrews before retiring last year. Now, he spends his free time at the beach. He’s also busy with public speaking and plans on stringing this year for several college basketball broadcasts.

Coach Lee has his own web site at He’s known as the modern day Bones McKinney. He’s always had a quick wit and a smile.

“I’m a fan of Coach Mac (McCarthy),” said Lee. “I know it’s a tough job there but he’s certainly done it before.”


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey's archives.

07/14/2009 02:06:54 AM


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