TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
March 8, 2010
Lebo sees tourney up
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History is often not kind
when it comes to the Pirates in basketball. That will be the case again
in El Paso this week. East Carolina has its highest seeding ever in a
tournament for which it has never won a game.
The Pirates finished the
year tied for 7th in the league standings. ECU is the 8th seed in the
tournament and will face 9th seed Central Florida in that first game on
Wednesday at 1 p.m. [View
The Pirates swept the
season series from the Knights, after UCF had been ranked nationally
earlier in the year. ECU
won by 12 in Orlando and
by 7 in Greenville.
The last time the Pirates
beat a team three times in the same season was in 1975, when East
Carolina beat The Citadel three times.
“I like the matchup,” said
first-year Pirate coach Jeff Lebo. “But from a psychological standpoint
I think the team that gets beat twice has a little bit of an advantage
in the situation. Our kids should be confident in this game.
"They’ve had some injuries
and they are starting to get some guys back who weren’t 100 percent when
we played them.”
East Carolina goes into
the tournament with the momentum of wins in three of its last four
games. The Pirates have also already clinched a winning season for the
first time since the 1996-97 season.
“We did some neat things
this season,” said Lebo. “Hopefully the season isn’t close to being over
The ECU-UCF winner will
play top seed UAB at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The Pirates lost both games to
UAB this season,
including the regular season finale
in Birmingham on Saturday night.
“There are a number of
teams that could win this thing,” added Lebo. “There are so many teams
at the top where anything could have happened. You have to have some
luck along the way. UTEP has an advantage with hosting the tournament,
but sometimes that adds a little pressure. We have a lot of teams that
have experienced guys.
"This isn’t the ‘Memphis
Invitational' anymore. I think any one of eight teams can with this
Lebo includes his Pirates
in that group.
Maness masterpiece nets
East Carolna senior
right-hander Seth Maness put together his best ever outing on Friday
night, leading East Carolina to a 2-0 victory over Pepperdine [View
Conference USA honored
Maness as the league’s co-pitcher of the week.
The Pirates split
Saturday’s doubleheader to win the series. [View
game 1 box score;
view game 2 box score]
The performance by Maness
is exactly what any coach wants in his Friday night starter.
“From start to finish it
was his deal,” said Pirate coach Billy Godwin. “It was his show. I’ve
seen him be sharp and special but he was as sharp as I’ve seen him for
Maness tied his career
high for strikeouts with 11 in the game. He gave up just two hits, with
one of those coming in the ninth. At one point Maness retired 18
“I felt good,” said
Maness. “I didn’t know about all nine (innings) but luckily it came out
that way. I had command of my fastball and that’s always a plus.”
It was the fourth C-USA
Pitcher of the Week honor for Maness in his career.
The Pirates hit the road
tonight to take on Campbell again. Lefty Kevin Brandt will get the start
for ECU. Righty Shawn Armstrong will start the Pirate’s other midweek
game, as ECU hosts High Point on Wednesday.
This weekend is a big one
of baseball at ECU, with the Pirates hosting the 8th Annual Keith
LeClair Classic starting Friday.
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