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From the Anchor Desk
Friday, June 3, 2011

By Brian Bailey

Pirates clicking, but capable of better: Godwin


JUNE 3-6, 2011

1. Virginia (50-9)
2. East Carolina (39-20)
3. St. John's (36-20)
4. Navy (33-24-1


UVa 6, Navy 0
St. John's 2, ECU 0


ECU 6, Navy 1
UVa 10, St. John's 2


ECU vs.St. John's, 1 pm
UVa vs. TBD, 6 pm
All 16 Regional Brackets


Godwin's strategy pays off against Navy
Box Score: East Carolina 6, Navy 1
Regional Photo Gallery #3
Audio: Godwin, Maness & McDonald Postgame
Timely hitting goes AWOL again
Box Score: St. John's 2, East Carolina 0
Regional Photo Gallery #2
Audio: Godwin Postgame
Ruff treatment: Weaver hands off to Hasty
Pirates clicking, but capable of better: Godwin
Audio: Regional coaches size up he field
Regional Photo Gallery #1
Bucs get another bite at Charlottesville apple
Audio: Godwin Sizes Up Charlottesville Regional
Rankings: ECU Climbs in Baseball America Poll
Field of 64: All 16 NCAA Regional Brackets
Pirates have run gamut of emotions

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — For the second straight day the East Carolina baseball team went through a short, spirited workout. I had a chance to see most of Tuesday's practice in Greenville, and I got to watch Wednesday's entire practice in Charlottesville.

Billy Godwin calls his group loose, but focused. The coach also has his team concentrating on just one game, and that's the opener with St. John's on Friday night.

Mike Wright gets the start for the Pirates against the Red Storm. He also deflected questions about a possible matchup with top ranked Virginia.

"St. John's is our big game right now," said Wright. "I probably won't see Virginia at all, so I have to worry about taking care of business in our first game.

One of Wright's best performances of the year came here in Charlottesville when the Pirates salvaged the third and final game of that early series with the Cavaliers. Godwin said that performance really didn't come into play when he decided on his opening night starter for the regional.

"That's good that he's won here before," said Godwin. "But he's really pitched well in his last couple of outings, and I feel confident he'll pitch well again."

Pirate ace Seth Maness hopes for another shot at Virginia this week. He suffered a 10-1 loss in the series opener in February when the Pirates committed five errors behind him.

He prepared for that possible start by hitting a home run during the pitcher's portion of batting practice. Some of his teammates joked that it was a cheap home run. Maness pulled the ball down the left field line and hit the foul pole at the 335 mark in left field.

"I just had to show them how do it," joked Maness. "It wasn't cheap at all," he laughed.

As Godwin said, his Pirates are loose but focused. Godwin notes his team has won 12 of its last 15 and is playing its best baseball.

But he also says the Pirates have yet to play their very best baseball.

Navy takes on Virginia in the opener on Friday at 1 p.m. The Navy players wore tee shirts with the slogan "Never Back Down" on them.

Virginia coach Brian O'Connor knows what his club is up against.

"I know what type of kid and what type of player you have to be to play at a service academy," said O'Connor. "They'll battle hard."

The Pirates and St. John's play in the 6 p.m. game. Losers on Friday move to an elimination game on Saturday morning, while the winners move to a Saturday night showdown.

The Pirates may have a secret weapon this weekend. North Carolina Sports Hall of Famer George Whitfield is in town, and he watched the Pirates work out today in Charlottesville.

The road to Omaha begins in Charlottesville, with Virginia, as a huge favorite, hosting Navy, East Carolina and St. John's.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

06/05/2011 01:20 AM


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