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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

By Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey

Rainy day with the radio


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Brian BaileyReplay Monday night's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW. ECU track and field coach CURT KRAFT and Rose High baseball coach RONALD VINCENT are Brian's guests. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930.
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Reckling outduels Brandt with one-hit gem
Smithmyer heats up Pirates' stove for Rice
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By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

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Sunday was the perfect day to listen to the rain and a Pirate baseball game. East Carolina’s 4-3 win in the third game of the series with 7th-ranked Rice was the only sunshine in the entire day.

With the NASCAR boys circling the Kansas track on my big screen, and with Jeff Charles and the Pirates in the surround sound, Sunday became palatable.

Today’s youth know nothing about listening to a game via the radio. (That sounds like something my Dad would say.) It is an art to listen to the words from the broadcaster and paint your own picture using that description.

Sometimes it’s better than a televised game.

The Pirates had the early lead. Jharel Cotton was brilliant again. You could almost see his tantalizing change up floating through the stereo speakers. Cotton got the win to stay unbeaten on the season.

East Carolina desperately needed a win to salvage the third game of this key series. The difference in salvaging at least one game in a series and losing all three is tremendous.
The Pirates' win moved them to 9-5-1 in Conference USA. Central Florida is in first place at 12-3, with Rice just a game back at 11-4.

A loss would have moved the Owls into a tie with UCF at the top, with East Carolina barely over the .500 mark in the league at 8-6-1.

That victory keeps the Pirates in the running for the conference title. After losing two out of three to both UCF and Rice, the Pirates will certainly need help.

East Carolina still has Tulane and Marshall at home and Southern Miss on the road.

The Pirates could have certainly taken the series against the Owls this past weekend. Rice beat East Carolina 2-0 on Friday night. Lefty Kevin Brandt was the hard luck loser. He went the distance but the Pirate bats were silenced by the one-hit shutout thrown by Matthew Reckling.

In game two, East Carolina had the lead late in the game. Shane Hoelscher tied the game at two with a solo home run, and then Craig Manuel ended things with his walk-off grand slam in the tenth inning.

Thus the Pirates lose two out of three in a very close series.

Things were close all over Conference USA in baseball this weekend. The league says this was one of the closest weekends in its history. According to the C-USA website, the 12 league games were decided by a combined total of 18 runs. That total includes the four runs from the Rice win over ECU in extra innings on Saturday on the walk-off grand slam.

One series (Houston-Marshall) saw all three games decided by just one run, while Southern Miss and UCF (the only teams that swept this weekend) each won two games by a single run.

The Pirates have found trouble in those five-game weeks. The squad has just one more of those assignments this season.

This week, East Carolina hits hits the road to take on North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Wednesday night before returning home to host a weekend series with Tulane.

Sunday afternoon features a doubleheader of sorts. After the game against Tulane, the Pirates will host their annual exhibition game with the Exceptional Community Baseball League. If you have never seen this special game, you need to make it a priority for this Sunday because it as an afternoon that the players will talk about for quite a while.

The only thing better than a rainy day with the radio on is a sunny day at Clark-LeClair Stadium for Pirate baseball!


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Brian Bailey Archives

04/24/2012 02:13 AM


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