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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

By Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey

Baseball report card a mixed bag


Baseball report card a mixed bag
ECU loss spelled w-a-l-k-s
Chapel Hill regional photo gallery #3
Audio: Billy Godwin & select players postgame
Star of the game: Joyner answers the call
Chapel Hill regional photo gallery #2
Storm clouds Pirates' opener
Chapel Hill regional photo gallery #1

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

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East Carolina wrapped up its 2012 baseball campaign with that 5-3 loss to North Carolina in the Chapel Hill Regional on June 3. After a week of reflection, now is a good time for a brief synopsis of the season:

  • Final record: 36-24-1

  • Conference USA record: 13-10-1

  • Home record: 23-7-1

  • Road record: 8-13

  • Neutral site record: 5-4

Biggest series sweep: East Carolina swept Stony Brook by scores of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3 to open the month of March. At the time, many Pirate fans wondered why the games were so close. Stony Brook is now the hottest team in the country and will head to Omaha this weekend for the College Baseball World Series.

Biggest tournament wins: The Pirates rolled in the DRASH Alabama Baseball Classic, beating Alabama, Oral Roberts and Louisville in the three games.

Biggest non-conference win: East Carolina beat North Carolina State 6-5 on March 20 at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The Pirates split the season series with the Wolfpack, falling 4-3 in 11 innings in the game in Raleigh on March 28.

Biggest non-conference Loss: The Pirates' frustrations in Chapel Hill continued this season with a couple of losses. East Carolina’s loss to North Carolina in the Chapel Hill regional was the Pirate’s 15th straight loss to the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. On April 25, the Pirates lost a 1-0, 10-inning pitching duel to North Carolina. The exasperating part for many is that East Carolina certainly had chances to win both of this season's games at Boshamer Stadium. The Pirates outhit the Tar Heels 10-5 in the regional loss but eight walks were the difference in the game.

Biggest positive: The ECU coaching staff really didn’t know what they had on the mound to start the year, but overall the hurlers were very solid. The Pirates did have problems with a fifth starter during the year, but the staff combined for a 3.55 ERA for the season. Kevin Brandt was perhaps the most effective pitcher with the least to show for it. The senior lefthander was just 7-6 on the season with a 2.12 ERA. He had four complete games, all of which were losses.

Biggest negative: The Pirates struggled getting key hits in games, which led to several losses and plenty of frustration from the ECU faithful. The Pirates hit nearly .300 as a team (.295) but just couldn’t come through in many scoring situations.

The goal of making it to Omaha and the College Baseball World Series will have to wait for another season.

The Pirates did make their 26th NCAA Regional appearance and 12th in the past 14 years.

But is that enough?

That answer is no. It’s not enough for Pirate fans and more importantly it’s not enough for head coach Billy Godwin and his staff.

“It’s frustrating,” said Godwin after the Pirates' loss to North Carolina to wrap up the season. “Nobody is any more frustrated than I am. All I know how to do is to keep working to get this program to Omaha.”

That’s the goal. The late Keith LeClair put the goal in focus. This year and every year the goal for Pirate baseball is to finally make that trip to Omaha and the College Baseball World Series.

The work will continue.

E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

06/12/2012 02:18 AM


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