June 3-6 | Davenport
Game 1: UVa
17, W&M 4 (Friday)
Bryant 1 (Friday)
Game 3: W&M 4,
Bryant 3 (Saturday)
ECU 8, UVa
Game 5: UVa vs.
W&M | Sunday, 11 am
Game 6: ECU vs.
Winner G5 | Sunday, 3 pm
Game 7*: ECU vs.
Winner G5 | Monday, 6 pm
*Game 7 necessary
only if ECU loses Game 6
Complete Regional Schedule &
Dual-threat QB plans to
One play was all it took for
Kingsley Ifedi to start turning
heads in his varsity debut as Vance
High School's starting quarterback
last August. Ifedi had served as the
backup to senior Omar Baker,
Jr., the year before as a
sophomore after transferring
to Vance from Phillip
Pirates return to Charlottesville
Carolina received a bid to the NCAA
Tournament on Monday and will be
returning to Virginia's Davenport
Field where the Pirates won two of
three against the Cavaliers in a
series Feb. 26-28.
Pirates stock up at quarterback
the month since starting quarterback
contender Kurt Benkert transferred
out of the program, East Carolina
coach Scottie Montgomery has busied
himself replenishing ECU's reservoir
of talent at the position.
Highly-regarded prep signal callers
Kingsley Ifedi (left) and Mic Roof
(right) are the latest talents to
make their pledges to the Purple and
Class of 2017 thumbnails...
East Carolina exits early
CLEARWATER, FL — A 5-4 loss to
Memphis on Thursday knocked East
Carolina out of the American
Athletic Conference Tournament. The
second-seeded Pirates (34-21-1) fell
4-2 to seventh-seeded South Florida
on Wednesday before the sixth-seeded
Tigers (20-38) took the elimination
ECU's nemesis strikes again
CLEARWATER, FL — South Florida
continued its role as American
Athletic Conference nemesis for East
Carolina on Wednesday with a 4-2 win
over the Pirates in ECU's league
Pirates head into AAC Tournament
Carolina goes into the American
Athletic Conference baseball
tournament at Bright House Field
in Clearwater, Fl, with a
three-game winning streak
despite a scare in the bottom of
the ninth inning of an 8-7
squeaker at Central Florida on
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The Bryant Bulldogs have
momentum going into the Charlottesville regional. East Carolina's
first round opponent at 4 p.m. today has won 10 in a row. Momentum
is not a factor in the Pirates' favor as ECU is coming off an 0-2
showing in defense of its 2015 championship in the American Athletic
Conference tournament last week.
While the case can't be
made for momentum, ECU isn't without motivation. Coach Cliff Godwin
said it's essentially about recovering the program's identity.
"I think it was a
wake-up call for our guys and I think they're going to play with a
lot more sense of urgency," Godwin said in retrospect of the AAC
event at Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL. " ... What's
important for the East Carolina Pirates is to go out there and to
play as hard as we can, to compete as hard as we can. We need to
execute. We need to get back to playing East Carolina baseball.
That's just being tougher, being more blue collar and competing. I
think we kind of had lost that a little bit, especially in the
conference tournament. That's been the point of emphasis the past
South Florida and
Memphis were trying to qualify for the NCAA tournament by winning
the AAC tournament title. The Bulls
topped the Pirates, 4-2,
and the Tigers
eliminated ECU, 5-4.
Connecticut won the
league tournament. ECU beat the Huskies five out of six times in
In terms of common
opponents, Bryant lost 6-3 at UConn on April 13.
Maryland took two of
three from the Bulldogs on March 11-13. ECU
edged the Terps, 4-3,
to win the Keith LeClair Classic at home on March 6.
That's ancient history.
The concern for the
Pirates has to be improving the level of last week's performances.
"I just don't think we
played well," Godwin said. "At the end of the day, not taking
anything away from South Florida and Memphis, but we didn't play our
best baseball. When I self-evaluate myself, I take full
responsibility for that. We didn't play well. This team is good but
we're not great talent-wise. If we don't play well, we have a chance
to lose to anybody in the country.
"So, South Florida
played better than us. It's a game of inches, a pitch here or a
pitch there. They won more pitches than we did so we went 0-2 and we
The Pirates went back to
work upon their return.
"We've had a very
intense few days of practice," Godwin said. "Saturday, we actually
in my opinion had one of the best intra-squad scrimmages to have
that late in the year that I've ever been associated with. The guys
really got after it and competed. There was a ton of energy. We went
for 10 innings because we knew rain was coming in on Sunday."
Bus ride to
East Carolina made the
bus trip to the regional site Wednesday afternoon. The ride was a
little less than four hours.
"The university has some
really nice buses," Godwin said. " ... A bus is really the only way
to get there. It's too short a trip for planes. ... We take the same
stuff no matter what. It's a little bit more difficult when you're
flying. You check bags and stuff. We're going to carry the same
stuff no matter what."
transportation, Cliff's Cab, the coach's six-passenger golf cart
that he uses to take students around campus, is getting a break
since spring semester ended with the baseball team sporting an
impressive 3.20 grade point average for the term.
The concept was to
provide a service while educating students about the baseball
"It finished up a month
ago, right before classes were let out," Godwin said. "It was for
the students and trying to get the students involved. Once school
was out and exams started, that was the last episode — but we'll
definitely do it again next year."
In theory, ECU could
play in Greenville
It's not beyond the
realm of possibility that the Pirates could host a Super Regional,
although it's not a scenario that Godwin has been mulling in his
"There's always a
chance," said the ECU skipper. "I haven't looked at anything like
that but anytime there's a non-one seed that wins a regional and a
non-one seed wins the other one, there's a chance. (A potential
host) has to have put in a bid to host a Super Regional. ... We put
in a bid to host a regional and Super Regional."
The winner of the
Charlottesville regional is bracketed with the winner of the Lubbock
regional, which is being hosted by top seed Texas Tech.
Blast from the past
shortstop Chris Burke provided insight on the NCAA selection show on
ESPNU on Monday. Burke was on the Volunteers team that topped the
Pirates in the Super Regional at Grainger Stadium in Kinston in
Godwin has crossed paths
with Burke, who played in the majors for Houston, Arizona and San
Diego from 2004 to 2009.
"I've seen him while I
was coaching in the SEC," Godwin said. "He does a lot of the SEC
games. When I was at Ole Miss, I ran into him a lot. The first time
I ever met him in person, we talked about it and he remembered it
"He actually played
against Chad Tracy (former ECU slugger) in the major leagues. He
remembered it vividly, like I do. It was a great experience for him.
He really remembered the crowd, how intense it was to play in
Kinston that year. ... He was the 10th pick overall (in the 2001 MLB
draft). He was a really good player."
Short trips to
ECU's former baseball
facility, Harrington Field, wasn't suited to host postseason play,
so ECU played its regional at Fleming Stadium in Wilson in 2001.
The Pirates opened with
a 7-0 win over Maryland-Baltimore County before taking a 12-8
triumph over South Florida. ECU turned back Winthrop 7-3 in the
"We actually didn't stay
in Wilson and we didn't stay in Kinston," Godwin recalled. "We just
stayed in our own beds and we would just drive over to the regional
and the Super Regional. ... We got some rain on that Saturday. I
think our game was supposed to start at 3 (p.m.) and we ended up
starting at like nine o'clock."
The Pirates went 47-15
in Godwin's senior season. He led the club in homers that year with
Snapshot of Bryant
The Bulldogs of the
Northeast Conference are 47-10 coming into the matchup with the
Pirates (34-21-1). Bryant is the No. 2 seed. ECU is the third seed.
Godwin has done his
homework on today's foe.
"They've got a really
good coach (Steve Owens), who has been successful at some other
schools (Cortland, 1992-1999 and Le Moyne, 2000-2010)," Godwin said.
"They were in a regional two years ago down at LSU. They've been in
the postseason. It's not like their first trip. They've got a really
good Friday night guy (sophomore right-hander James Karinchak, 12-2,
2.04 earned run average) who we'll face who's a power arm, 90-94
miles per hour with a good breaking ball. They're very good
offensively. They're hitting like .324 as a team. One guy has
double-digit home runs (Matt Albanese, 11). We'll need to play well.
They're good. You don't win 47 games by accident."
The Pirates have played
56 games this season. Godwin will stick with the personnel that
helped the Pirates earn the program's 28th trip into NCAA tournament
"(Evan) Kruczynski is
going to go game one and Jimmy (Boyd) will go game two," he said.
Joe Ingle remains in the
closer's role despite some late season struggles.
"The guy has saved 20
games for us in two years," Godwin said. "He's going to have the
ball at the end of the game. Like everything else — like a hitter
goes into a slump — nobody's perfect. Matt Harvey had a 6.50 ERA and
then all of a sudden he threw seven innings and doesn't give up a
run. They're the same guys. They haven't executed for a couple of
times out. Joe's a stud. He's going to be out there when the game is
on the line."
Cavs playing in
The host team determines
game times for the regionals. Virginia meets William & Mary at 11
"The host team has a
choice of which game they want to play," Godwin said. "It's a little
bit abnormal. There are definitely some schools that do it. I know
Paul Mainieri at LSU does it (plays the first game). (Virginia coach
Brian) O'Connor worked for Mainieri at Notre Dame. ... You play the
first game — if there's weather then you still have a majority of
the day to play your game even if the other team doesn't. You're
going to get more rest if you play the first game."
There's a 70 percent
chance of rain in Charlottesville today, a factor which prompted
officials to advance the start times for both games. The Cavs were
originally scheduled to take on the Tribe at 1 p.m. with the
ECU-Bryant matchup beginning at 6 p.m.
Many host teams like to
play the nightcap when their fan support will be at its greatest.
to Columbia and
eliminated the Pirates from the Coral Gables regional in two games
That team, with its
short roster, spent a lot of energy in a 4-0 run
to the AAC tournament title.
"We're in a much better
place physically and mentally," Godwin said. "Our guys last year
didn't have anything left in the tank. This year, Parker Lamm is
almost 100 percent. He's been nicked up for the past six weeks or
so. We're physically fresh. We really owe it to the tournament. We
got plenty of time off. It's a difference, even if you practice.
Practice is different as compared to a nine-inning battle with
another team who's trying to win and you're trying to win. We're
definitely much fresher than we were last year."
Three from AAC
The AAC has three teams
in the NCAA Tournament. Connecticut (37-23) is the No. 3 seed in the
Gainesville, FL, regional and is scheduled to meet Georgia Tech
(36-23). Regular season champion Tulane (39-19) is the No. 2 seed in
the Oxford, MS, regional and plays Boston College (31-20).
Godwin felt the league
was treated fairly by the selection committee.
"Houston (36-23) would
have been the next one in," said the Pirates coach and alumnus.
"They just didn't have quite a good enough RPI (58th). They just had
a stint where they didn't play well, kind of in the middle of the
season. I thought the league would get three teams in once us and
Tulane lost and didn't win the conference tournament. If one of us
had won the conference tournament, to be honest, it would probably
would just have been two."
ECU is familiar with
Virginia's Davenport Field,
having taken two of three
from the Cavaliers there when the season was young.
That and a couple of
dollars will get the Pirates a biscuit in the environs of Mr.
"It's some value that
we've been to their stadium before and played on their field,"
Godwin said. "It's not going to be the difference in winning and
losing a game. I'm sure there's a comfort factor in having been here
but I said the same thing about the conference tournament this year,
that we had won it. We'd been there, stayed at the same hotel and
that didn't work out very well for us, so I don't know how much it
goes into play but it's nice that we've been here before."
Pirates from the
neighboring commonwealth should feel the love.
"We've got a bunch of
guys from Virginia so their families will be able to travel and see
them play," Godwin said.