View from the East
Friday, May 13, 2016

By Al Myatt

Al Myatt

Transition to adidas approaching

Next: USF at ECU

Fri. 6:30 pm | Sat. 4 pm | Sun. 11 am

View ECU's full schedule on



Tar Heels down ECU, 9-1

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina scored five runs on one hit in the sixth inning and defeated East Carolina 9-1 on Tuesday night. UNC (31-17) got the benefit of five walks, a hit batter and two wild pitches in its big frame. ... More...

Next: USF at ECU

Friday, 6:30 pm | Saturday, 4 pm | Sunday, 11 am



Sweep sets stage for stretch run

East Carolina coach Cliff Godwin said his team would play even better when exams ended. It’s all baseball now, and the Pirates opened this new stage of the year with three huge conference wins at Connecticut. ... More from Brian Bailey...

Audio: The Brian Bailey Show

The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest this week was Pirate Radio Network color commentator and former ECU baseball coach Gary Overton (left): Replay show...



Juco All-American plugs gap at QB

Flint Minshew was a hulking nose tackle during his playing days at NCAA Division III Millsaps College, where he’s a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame. ... More from Sammy Batten...

Thumbnail sketches: Class of 2017 | Class of 2016



ECU working on two recruiting crops

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East Carolina is having ongoing success luring talent to both its 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes. Decorated junior college quarterback Gardner Minshew (left) and Cal-Berkeley graduate transfer running back Jeffrey Coprich (middle) will be eligible to play for the Pirates this fall, while Ohio prep lineman John Spellacy (right) is the most recent addition to the recruiting class of 2017.

Thumbnail sketches: Class of 2017 | Class of 2016



Williams-Sutton, Wolfe power sweep

STORRS, CT — Dwanya Williams-Sutton hit a three-run homer and Jacob Wolfe pitched the first complete game of his career as East Carolina completed a three-game American Athletic Conference sweep at Connecticut with a 3-2 win Sunday. ... More...

Next: ECU at North Carolina | Tuesday, 6 pm



Varner finishes one-under

CHARLOTTE — Harold Varner III shot an even-par 72 for the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow on Sunday. The former East Carolina golfer finished at one-under par 287, which put him in a four-way tie for 24th. ... More from Al Myatt...



Pirates take pair at UConn

STORRS, CT — East Carolina took a 4-3 win over Connecticut on Saturday in a game that was suspended on Friday and followed up by downing the Huskies 11-9 in Saturday's regularly-scheduled contest. ... More...



Varner at one-under after 54 holes

CHARLOTTE — Former East Carolina golfer Harold Varner III shot a two-over par 74 on Saturday for a 54-hole total of 215 in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow. Varner was in a tie for 19th with 16 other players, including Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson ... More from Al Myatt...


By Al Myatt
All rights reserved.


East Carolina will become an adidas program in July after a lengthy association with Nike. The deal with adidas is for 10 years and $16.5 million.

"For everybody at East Carolina, it means that we're going to get more stuff," ECU head baseball coach Cliff Godwin said. "We're going to have an opportunity to design more uniforms, cleats and stuff like that. We'll really be one of adidas's top 11, I guess, programs in the country. It will be more of a national marketing deal for our athletic department. We're getting more money. We're getting more marketing. It's really a neat deal for our university anytime you can get more notoriety within the country."

Adidas does bats and gloves.

"They do but we're staying with Easton," Godwin said. "That's part of our contract. We're staying with Easton. Easton does a great job for us so we're staying with Easton (bats and gloves)."

Pirates take soggy series

Baseball is subject to the weather.

As former major league pitcher and philosopher Satchel Paige said, "You win a few. You lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them."

I hadn't heard that quote with the last sentence but East Carolina was dressed — and blessed — in its American Athletic Conference series sweep at Connecticut last weekend.

Game one, a 4-3 Pirates win, may have set the tone with its dramatic conclusion on Saturday as UConn scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth but stranded the potential tying run at third as closer Joe Ingle struck out three in a row.

"The weather was definitely a factor," said Godwin. "We played in rain on Friday. ... (Starting pitcher Evan) Kruczynski had to sit down. So did their guy. I thought our guys really handled the conditions well. Saturday was raining and it stopped. We had to finish game one and play game two. Then Sunday, raining again. We actually started the game at 11:30 (a.m.) and it was misting rain. We had another delay. ... Really, we only saw sun for three innings once the rain delay on Sunday was over. ... Three games and three innings of sun."

The end of classes and exams for spring semester may have given the Pirates a sunny outlook despite the conditions.

"Since school was out and they're done with exams, the focus can be totally on baseball," Godwin said.

ECU starts a three-game series with South Florida at Clark-LeClair Stadium tonight at 6:30, weather permitting. It's worth noting that there's a 70 percent chance of showers in the forecast.

The outlook for Saturday and Sunday is much better.

Game plan foiled at UNC

The weather was ideal on Tuesday in Chapel Hill. The control of the youthful Pirates' midweek staff was not.

The Tar Heels scored five runs in the sixth inning to take control in a 9-1 win. UNC had one hit in the big inning but took advantage of five walks, a hit batter and two wild pitches.

The case could be made that ECU was more competitive than in a 17-4 home loss to the Heels on March 15 but that would be small consolation.

"Our game plan was to keep the lead-off guy off base," Godwin said.. "Six out of the eight innings, we let the lead-off guy get on base. We didn't execute our game plan well.

"Right now, we just haven't found a fourth starter. Somebody's got to step up. Whether it's Davis Kirkpatrick or Nick Durazo or whoever it is has got to want the ball and go out there and give us four or five innings at least. Hopefully, next Tuesday (at home vs. Campbell, 6:30 p.m.), we'll get another shot and see if we can find that fourth starter.

"Our plan was to throw a lot of relievers. The only guy we didn't throw was Joe (Ingle). I wasn't going to put Joe in there once we were down that much."

Focusing forward

Godwin didn't let the Pirates languish long after the road loss Tuesday night.

"We had a really hard practice (Wednesday) and lifted weights," Godwin said. "I wanted to get them back out there and really get after it."

Thursday was a lighter day.

"We had a team breakfast at 10 just to make sure they're getting up and moving," Godwin said.

"Once we get into the weekend, it's kind of status quo," said the ECU coach. "We'll probably get them up a little early. We won't let them sleep 'til noon. I'm sure some of them would if we let them. We'll get them up and have a breakfast. It'll be kind of status quo once the weekend rolls around but it's allowed them to catch up on some rest. Their bodies, this time of year, everybody is nicked up. Get more treatments. Get more lifts in. We'll be fresher down the stretch than we were last year."

After winning the AAC Tournament last season, Godwin felt his club was out of gas in going 0-2 in the NCAA regional in Coral Gables, FL.

What would strong finish do?

Host Miami won ECU's regional last year. Home teams have an advantage and generally perform well in the postseason.

ECU is 30-17-1 overall and 11-6-1 in the AAC. The Pirates are No. 22 in the NCAA ratings percentage index and No. 24 in the USA Today coaches poll. That's on the outside looking in as far as hosting a regional.

The Pirates are shaping up as a No. 2 seed.

Could ECU possibly play its their way into hosting a regional?

"It's a long shot," Godwin said. "Anything's possible but it's a long shot. We'd have to do something crazy, win six out of seven and then probably win the conference championship. It would be hard for us to do but I wouldn't put anything out of the realm of possibility."

Academic emphasis

Godwin likes earned run averages less than 3.00 and grade point averages above that number.

Weekend starters Kruczynski (1.40), Jimmy Boyd (2.43) and Jacob Wolfe (2.34) have impressive ERAs. The Pirates en masse are performing in the classroom, too.

The team GPA for fall semester was 3.42. Godwin has seen preliminary academic numbers for the spring.

"Once the grades are official, the Pirate Nation will be proud again of how well we did in the classroom this semester," said the ECU alumnus and two-time Academic All-America selection in his playing days as Pirates catcher. "Our guys expend a lot of energy. I tell this story — we beat N.C. State on that Tuesday night here in Greenville and it was a long game.

"It's 10:30 at night and guys are grabbing food. They're like, 'Hey, coach, I've got to go to the library. Can I stay out a little bit later?' Normally, we have curfew before game at 10:30 (p.m.). We were playing at High Point the next day. I'm like, 'Yeah, make sure you get the work in.' They're studying until midnight and then they have to get on a bus to go three hours to High Point."

Under those circumstances, it shouldn't be surprising that ECU lost 5-1 to the Panthers on April 20 after a 15-3 victory over the Wolfpack the night before.

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05/13/2016 02:05 AM