From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Pirates ride momentum into tourney

Audio: Brian Bailey Show

The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest this week was ECU baseball coach Cliff Godwin (right) and D.H. Conley coaches Jason Mills (baseball) and Wayne Deans (softball): Replay show...



AAC Tournament | Clearwater, FL

Wednesday: ECU vs. UCF, 11 am

AAC Tournament Schedule



Pirates complete sweep

CINCINNATI — Luke Lowery's RBI double in the top of the eighth inning lifted East Carolina to an 8-7 win on Saturday and completed a three-game sweep at Cincinnati. The Pirates concluded the regular season at 36-20 overall and 15-9 in the American Athletic Conference. ... More...



ECU captures series at Cincy

CINCINNATI — East Carolina scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning after Cincinnati had taken a 1-0 lead in the second and the Pirates went on to a 6-4 American Athletic Conference win over the Bearcats on Friday night. The outcome clinched the series for ECU, which improved to 35-20 overall and 14-9 in league play. ... More...



ECU tops Cincinnati, 7-3

CINCINNATI — East Carolina opened its American Athletic Conference series at Cincinnati with a 7-3 win on Thursday night. Reid Love (7-3) pitched seven innings as a three-run fifth inning put the Pirates (34-20, 13-9 AAC) ahead to stay. ... More...



Senior Nights and Days for Pirates

Al MyattEast Carolina officially celebrated Senior Night with a 7-0 win over Elon at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Tuesday night. There have been numerous senior afternoons and evenings for the Pirates throughout the 2015 season because Hunter Allen and Reid Love have played such big roles ... More from Al Myatt...

Pictured: Hunter Allen, top left, is shown turning a 6-3 double play in an ECU win over Princeton on March 17. Reid Love, top right, is pictured celebrating with Pirates coach Cliff Godwin after his leadoff triple in the bottom of the 9th set up a dramatic victory over N.C. State on April 21. Heading into the final series of the regular season, the senior co-captains have been stalwart performers as the Pirates have made a run at the American Athletic Conference title while keeping their eyes on a potential NCAA regional berth. (Photos by W.A. Myatt)


Pirates shut out Elon

GREENVILLE — East Carolina took a 7-0 nonconference win over Elon on Senior Night at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Tuesday night. The game was shortened to seven innings because of threatening weather. Pirate seniors Hunter Allen and Reid Love had productive performances ... More...



Recruiting Wars: Offensive Line

East Carolina will suffer some of its most significant personnel losses after next season on the offensive line, and starting to fill those voids is a priority as the Pirates pursue the recruiting Class of 2016. ... More from Sammy Batten...

Recruiting Wars: QB | RB | WR/TE | OL | DL | LB | DB



Thumbnail sketch: WR Tahj Deans

Southern Nash star Tahj Deans has solid credentials as a defender but is projected as a wide receiver at East Carolina after committing to join the Pirates' recruiting class of 2016. ... Thumbnail sketch...


By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


East Carolina heads to the Sunshine State for tournament play this week at the American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship.

The Pirates carry plenty of momentum to Clearwater, FL, after sweeping Cincinnati. ECU finished the regular season one game out of a share of the AAC title with Houston.

The American features a double elimination format rather than the pod system some leagues have used in the past. Pirate coach Cliff Godwin says he’s a big proponent of the double elimination format.

“I wasn't going to leave the meetings in Connecticut in September if we didn't play double elimination,” said Godwin only half joking. “I can't stand playing meaningless baseball this time of the year. I think you should play for something. For me the pod system, people can argue that you might get in (NCAA Tournament) if you win one of the three games, but I want to play for something and I think the kids do too.

"You get the emotion and the competitive juices flowing when it's a double elimination tournament and I'm glad that the coaches all voted for it.”

Pirate ace Reid Love will get the start in game one against Central Florida. The Knights were a preseason top 10 pick, but fell on hard times this season. ECU swept UCF earlier this season.

Perhaps Love is in line to join several other Pirates who are now in the big leagues.

Sunday was a day like no other for former ECU players. Chris Heston started his game for the Giants. Heston has been a big surprise all year, though Sunday was his worst outing of the young season.

Seth Maness was doing his usual in St. Louis, coming out of the pen and inducing a double play ground ball. No one has done that better over the last couple of seasons.

Then there was the stunning debut of former Pirate Mike Wright.

Wright didn’t find out he was starting on Sunday against the Angels until Saturday night. His first major league strikeout came against Mike Trout, who oddly enough originally committed to East Carolina out of high school.

Wright was brilliant for the Birds. He pitched 7 1/3 innings, giving up no runs and just four hits. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

He was absolutely beaming when he spoke to the television audience on MASN after the Orioles' 3-0 win.

“It's amazing,” said Wright. “It's really amazing. It's more than anything I could have asked for. It's just a great feeling. It was great. You know I've been in the bullpen the last few games and that's how I thought I would come out but to have my normal routine and continue starting like I have done in the past."

His interview was then interrupted by the traditional pie in the face after a great debut.

“Welcome to the majors,” said Orioles play-by-play man Gary Thorne.

Thorne then asked Wright what flavor the pie was.

‘It's delicious, absolutely delicious,” Wright answered.

Later in the interview, Hall of Fame pitcher and Orioles color commentator Jim Palmer asked Wright about keeping his composure, and slowing down.

“My pitching coach worked with me on that,” said Wright. “He would say if I threw two balls in a row to step back off the mound and regroup and so that’s what I do.”

Wright was then asked to name his coach.

“Dan Roszel, absolute stud,” said Wright.

As luck would have it the Pirate baseball team watched the interview with Wright while traveling.

“The whole team cheered when Wright gave that shout-out to Dan,” said Godwin. “I think Dan Roszel is the best pitching coach in the country, and that’s why he’s at East Carolina.”

Roszel is certainly spitting out the prospects.

His current staff will be tested in the AAC tournament and most likely in the NCAA regionals next week.


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05/19/2015 03:55 AM