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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey

ECU ironing out wrinkles in early play


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ECU ironing out wrinkles in early play
Terps clip ECU for best start in 25 years
Pirates earn split behind Joyner, Wright
Blazers fend off East Carolina
Mother Nature shifts LeClair Classic
Will State jump to the SEC – and other pilots
Pirates power past Old Dominion
Tigers pounce on ECU for 20th win
Pirates find three formulas for winning
East Carolina sweeps Panthers

By Brian Bailey
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East Carolina split its four games last week, winning at Old Dominion but falling in two out of three games in the Keith LeClair Classic.

The Pirates dropped a 6-4 decision to Purdue on Saturday before beating Western Carolina 3-1 later that day. On Sunday, ECU dropped a 2-1 decision to Maryland to conclude play in the Classic.

The Pirates and Terps played a tense, low-scoring game on a cold February afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The two teams were tied at one in the ninth, when East Carolina committed a pair of throwing errors that lead to the Terps scoring the game winning run.

Former Greenville Rose High School star Tanner Merritt, who has really pitched well in relief so far this season, threw wide of second on what could have been a double play that would have ended the frame. Outfielder Jay Cannon followed with an error that set the Terps up with runners at second and third with one out.

Maryland’s Alfredo Rodriguez made the Pirates pay by giving the Terps the lead with a base hit off of Pirate closer Drew Reynolds for the 2-1 win.

ECU coach Billy Godwin told reporters afterward that he knows his club hasn’t hit on all cylinders just yet. He says this squad has to execute better in key situations.

“We hit some balls pretty good and then scuffled in executing the little things in the game,” said Godwin. “But it’s early and we aren’t going to hit panic buttons.”

The Pirates have all week this week to work on some of that executing. They will certainly work on getting the ball down in bunt situations. There were a couple of key errors by pitchers this weekend.

Godwin hopes to continue to work out the kinks and have this team playing its best baseball when play begins in Conference USA.

Lady Pirates stay hot

Give credit to East Carolina women’s basketball coach Heather Macy and her staff for not throwing in the towel a couple of weeks ago. At that time, after a 14th straight loss, the ECU women were just 6-17 overall and 0-10 in Conference USA.

Since then the ECU women have won four of their last five games. The Lady Pirates slipped by Marshall on the road on Sunday 63-62 in overtime to improve their record to 10-18 overall and 4-11 in C-USA.

This ECU women’s program has been through so much. Coach Macy and her staff deserve a big pat on the back for turning this thing around. Teams want to be playing their best basketball in March, and this team looks to be doing just that.

The Lady Pirates close out the regular season on Thursday night hosting Southern Miss at Williams Arena.

The women then head to Memphis for the Conference USA tournament which begins on March 7th.

Big achievement by ECU women’s track

Congratulations to the East Carolina women’s indoor track team, which captured its first-ever Conference USA title on Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Pirates beat defending champion Central Florida 123-113½. It’s the program's first conference championship since ECU won the 2000 Colonial Athletic Association outdoor title.

Coach Curt Kraft was also honored by C-USA as the league’s coach of the year.


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02/28/2012 04:22 AM


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