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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 3, 2010

By Brian Bailey

Harris pledges allegiance to Cowboys

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

Dwayne Harris is a Dallas Cowboy.

It probably doesn’t feel like it much for the former East Carolina star. With the lockout, everything is on hold.

Of course, that seems to change by the day.

First came the thrill of being drafted. Harris got the call from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m feeling joy,” Harris told me on my weekly radio show on Pirate Radio 1250 last night [REPLAY SHOW]. “I’m really excited. It is a dream come true to get picked up finally. It was a long journey, but I’m ready to start a new chapter."

Harris knows that his football future is in Big D. He can’t wait to get started. But even after being drafted on Saturday Harris still has to be patient.

“What I can do is to continue to work out and continue to get stronger and faster,” said Harris. “I can work on my off-season drills. What I can’t do is talk to the coaches or go to the facility. As soon as it’s (the lockout) over I’ll be ready.”

Harris was considered a nice sleeper pick by the Cowboys by many of the draft experts. Most Pirate fans know what Dwayne Harris can do. America’s Team is about to find out.

His favorite team growing up was the Atlanta Falcons. His new favorite team hails from “Big D.”

And Harris was already working on his ‘How ‘bout them Cowboys!’

Diamond Bucs searching for consistency

It seemed like every ball the Pirates hit on Saturday in a 5-0 loss to Southern Miss turned into a double play ball.

On Sunday, those same ground balls seemed to find holes in a 7-6 East Carolina win.

That’s baseball, but it’s obviously frustrating for both the ECU team and its fan base.
This is a ball club that can play with anyone in the country. It is also a squad team that currently stands at .500 in Conference USA.

Despite dropping two out of three to the Golden Eagles, the Pirates are still in line to earn an NCAA tournament berth.

This team has yet to play its best baseball. The Pirates have played very good baseball in spurts. The inconsistency, though, continues to be a huge problem.

Saturday’s 5-0 was loss was especially tough for Pirate coach Billy Godwin, who watched as USM outfielder Marc Bourgeois’ grand slam in the fifth inning pretty much clinched the series win for the Golden Eagles.

Godwin said that Bourgeois took “ownership” of his club’s offense, something his own team has struggled finding someone to do.

“It’s frustrating because I believe we have good hitters,” said Godwin.
Those good hitters showed up on Sunday."

Corey Thompson, who lost weight suffering from the flu, came back with a couple of RBI singles. John Wooten had three hits and drove in three runs as the Pirates built a 7-0 lead.

Every time Godwin plugs one hole, another one leaks out.

ECU's bullpen, stellar all season long, almost blew the seven-run lead.
Seth Simmons has struggled his last two times out as the Pirates' closer. Brad Mincey had to come on and nail down the save in the 7-6 win on Sunday.

Godwin told the media after the game that he knew his team still had to focus, even when his Pirates were up seven runs.

“When you have a 7-0 lead against a good club you have to focus on every pitch, play every play and finish the game," he said. "Fortunately we were able to hang on.”

The Pirates do not have a midweek game this week, giving the pitching staff a chance to collect its breath before a series this weekend at Marshall.

On the positive side it was good to see Seth Maness back on the hill for the Pirates. Maness was on a pitch count on Sunday but still picked up the win after giving up four hits in four scoreless innings while striking out two.

Godwin says his team is close, but he also realizes the time is now to turn things up a notch and gain some consistency.

“This club can be as good as it wants to be when it decides to lock in and do all the little things and stay in every pitch,” said Godwin. “Right now we are just not playing in every pitch and that’s a challenge for us as coaches, and that’s my responsibility to make sure that happens.

“Every pitch counts," he emphasized. "No matter what the score is, every pitch counts. We’ve had some great come-from-behind wins and some tough losses late in the games.

“The lesson is the game, and we have to take note of that.”


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

05/03/2011 03:27 AM


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