This past weekend was truly one to remember at East Carolina.
The ECU swimming and diving team took the American Athletic Conference championship for the fourth time.
The lacrosse team slipped by Campbell on the road, 12-22 on Saturday.
The women’s basketball team came from 17 points down to beat Temple. The Pirate ladies have won three in row and five of their last seven, after starting the year just 3-16.
The softball team won a trio of games in the Pirate Invitational. The ECU men’s tennis team beat Georgia Southern.
ECU basketball rallied to beat the Temple men on Sunday and then later that afternoon the Pirate baseball team completed a 3-game sweep of Georgia Southern by winning both games of a doubleheader.
The baseball team won a close one to open Saturday. ECU beat Georgia Southern, 3-2. Thomas Francisco hit a two-run homer in the first inning.
East Carolina then came out and blasted the Eagles in the nightcap, 10-2. Bryson Worrell got things started in the nightcap with a 3-run homer in the first inning.
“Georgia Southern is a really good team,” said Pirate coach Cliff Godwin afterwards. “I knew runs were going to be at a premium and our pitching matched their pitching pitch-for-pitch. Defensively, we were very good all weekend. Offensively, it was tough treading, but today in the second game, I thought we put together some really quality at-bats with runners in scoring position.”
Francisco got it all started early with his two-run home run.
“Anytime you can come in here and get a sweep, it’s awesome,” said Francisco. “Our pitchers did an amazing job today and we piled up a lot of quality at-bats. It was the key to our success.”
Some of the fans in the stands for that second game of the doubleheader were Pirate basketball players, who came over after beating Temple, 67-63.
Jayden Gardner tied his season high with 29 points in the win. He was also among those Pirates that ventured over for baseball. Gardner enjoyed some much-deserved popcorn at the game.
That popcorn tasted much better after a win.
“We just had a bad taste in our mouth after losing games we thought we should have won,” said Gardner. “Being able to close this one out with a win was big time.”
Jayden Gardner is big time. He’s quickly becoming one of the all-time greats in Pirate basketball history.
“I love being a Pirate,” said Gardner recently. “We are getting better everyday and I think the program has a bright future.”
Coach Joe Dooley and his squad overcame a bizarre series during which ECU was whistled for a couple of technical fouls resulting in six Temple free throws with the game on the line. The Owls would hit just three of those gifts, leaving the door cracked for the Pirates.
“Our guys withstood some runs, especially late in the game, to sort of stumble around and make sure we were within striking distance,” Dooley said. “We hit some free throws and obviously some big shots. And we got some big shots towards the end. I don’t think they scored a field goal in the final four minutes, which probably bailed us out. I thought the guys showed some resiliency, and it’s a good win for our guys.”
ECU certainly has plenty to play for down the stretch. The Pirates have games at South Florida and at Central Florida sandwiching a home game against Connecticut.
The American Athletic Conference Championship is set for March 12th-15th in Fort Worth, Texas.
East Carolina needs more weekends like this past one.
Pirate Nation deserves more weekends like this past one.
Greenville was jumping and the Pirates were winning all over. It was truly a weekend to remember.