East Carolina coach Cliff Godwin has his club on a definitive, goal-oriented track for wins and losses.
Godwin wants his Pirates to go 8-3 every 11 games. They did just that in the first part of the season, but fell off a little in their next 22. The sweep by Mercer was the difference.
They are now in their third set of ‘elevens’ and are off to a 3-0 start after sweeping Towson this past weekend.
For the first time in my memory ECU started three freshman for the weekend rotation. All three pitched well.
The Pirate hitters have included a pair of freshman sluggers all season in Spencer Brickhouse and Bryant Packard. These guys are so good that it’s almost a letdown when they don’t get a hit. Packard was 4-4 with a couple of doubles and 2 RBI in Sunday’s win over the Tigers. Brickhouse was 2-4 with a home run, a double and a couple of RBIs.
Brickhouse is a very mature player and young man who embraces his role as a key offensive player for this team.
“I really think this team takes things day by day,” said Brickhouse. “Some days we are really hitting the ball well and sometimes we have to scratch a run or two across. We were just seeing the ball well this weekend.”
Brickhouse said the Pirates took the recent four-game home losing streak hard.
“They really sat heavily on us,” said Brickhouse. “I think it showed us that we really had to work to get better. I think it was the slap in the face that we needed. Coach Godwin has preached to us that we have to get better every day.”
Godwin knew going into the season that he had a stellar recruiting class. What he didn’t know is how they would mesh with all of his returning players.
Injuries to key starters like Dwanya Williams-Sutton, Bryce Harmon and Evan Kruczynski has given some of the young ones even earlier playing time then expected.
“That’s why you recruit them,” said Godwin. “You feel pretty confident that they are going to do it. You don’t know if they are going to do it in their freshman year because it is different. The pressure is different, there are more fans in the stands.”
Godwin was asked about breaking the losing streak with a weekend sweep.
“I just like when we win,” said Godwin. “Towson is much better than their record is. When you look at their offensive numbers they are really good. I think they’ll be really good in their conference.”
Next up is a matchup with Liberty tonight before ECU opens conference play on Friday hosting Connecticut in a three-game series.
Coach Godwin was a busy man this weekend. He spoke to the Exceptional Community Baseball League players at their opening day on Saturday morning before game two of the series with Towson. The Pirates will host the ECBL this Sunday afternoon after the third game with UConn.
Godwin and the Pirates are also in the final week of their annual “Mustache March” for ALS awareness. They have already surpassed their goal of $5,000 this year, but they would love to have even more.
To donate to this worthy cause just click on this link. Help East Carolina baseball strike out ALS!
For the second straight year I was invited to participate in the Mustache March. Even though I had a mustache for years as a young sportscaster, I’m looking forward to getting rid of this thing soon.
The team will shave off the ‘staches live on WNCT-TV on Monday, April 3rd at 5:20pm.
My wife, Melissa, may be the first in line with the clippers!