From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Tone is set for ambitious season

Audio: Brian Bailey Show

The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guests this week were ECU baseball coach Cliff Godwin (right), Farmville Central basketball coach Larry Williford and WNCN sportscaster Todd Gibson: Replay show...

View Pirate Radio 1250 Programming Lineup


Next: Elon at ECU

Wednesday, 4 pm

View full schedule on



Cavs avoid sweep with 4-2 win

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA —  Virginia got off to a good start Sunday and avoided being swept in a three-game series with East Carolina by dealing the Pirates their first loss of the season, 4-2. Adam Haseley led off the bottom of the first inning with a double for the Cavaliers. ... More...

Next: Elon at ECU | Wednesday, 4 pm



Pirates take series

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA —  Luke Bolka had a 3-run homer and finished with four RBIs to lead East Carolina to a 6-1 victory at Virginia on Saturday for a series win over the defending College World Series champions. The Pirates improved to 6-0 and go for the series sweep at 1 p.m. today. ... More...



Cincinnati holds off Pirates

GREENVILLE — East Carolina trimmed a 16-point Cincinnati lead to 56-54 with five minutes remaining before absorbing a 65-56 American Athletic Conference loss from the Bearcats before 4,841 in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. ... Story & pictures...

Pictured: ECU's Kentrell Barkley drives against Cincinnati on Saturday. The freshman swingman played all 40 minutes and had 14 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. (Photo by Al Myatt.)

Post-game audio:Lebo, Williams, Barkley...

Next: ECU at USF | Wednesday, 9 pm | ESPNU



Pirates rally to defeat 2015 champs

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA —  East Carolina ended a nine-game losing streak to Virginia with an 8-5 win in 10 innings over the defending College World Series champions on Friday. The Pirates pushed across a tying run in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Charlie Yorgen before scoring three runs in the 10th. ... More...



Challenge escalates for Pirates

Al MyattEast Carolina's baseball team is off to a 4-0 start with three wins over Longwood last weekend and an 11-2 victory over North Carolina A&T on Tuesday. The circumstances will be more challenging this weekend as the Pirates visit Virginia ... More from Al Myatt...



Tyson lifts Pirates to win at Tulane

NEW ORLEANS — B.J. Tyson led four East Carolina players in double figures with 22 points as the Pirates stopped a six-game losing streak with a 79-73 American Athletic Conference win at Tulane on Wednesday night. ... More...

Next: Cincinnati at ECU | Saturday, 12 pm | ESPNU



SEC aura helped lure Bailey to ECU

Sean Bailey's earliest ambition was to become a firefighter like his father, uncle and grandfather before him. But by middle school Bailey changed his mind and opted for another family profession. ... More from Sammy Batten...

Thumbnails: ECU's recruiting class of 2016...


By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


East Carolina baseball coach Cliff Godwin wants to host an NCAA regional. He wants to host a Super Regional, with the ultimate goal of going to Omaha and the College Baseball World Series.

Taking two out of three games from the defending national champions doesn’t guarantee anything. It does, however, set the tone that this ECU team feels it can compete with any other team in the nation.

Godwin’s group is a loose bunch. They seem to enjoy one another and certainly weren’t intimidated one bit at Virginia this past weekend.

After taking the first game in extra innings on Friday, the Pirates had two shots at taking the series.

If anyone thought Friday’s win was a fluke, the Pirates' dominating 6-1 win on Saturday certainly proved otherwise.

Sunday was a bit of a disappointment. It wasn’t so much the 4-2 loss, rather the five errors that East Carolina committed. ECU out-hit UVa 8-6 but the Pirates just couldn’t overcome all the miscues, which isn’t a normal trait of the Cliff Godwin coached club.

“You just can’t make five errors and win,” said Godwin after Sunday’s loss. “We left the bases loaded with one out in one inning. If we at least score one, then it’s a different game late. Still, we brought the tying run to the plate in the 9th and had a shot.”

Taking two out of three from the fourth-ranked team in the nation and the defending national champs vaulted this ECU team into the national spotlight on Monday.

The Pirates were ranked as high as 16th in the polls. That ranking came from The Pirates were also ranked 25th by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers and by Baseball America.

Those were the rewards from two great wins over the reigning College World Series champs.

These Pirates like one another. This team likes to have fun. Godwin is hard-nosed, just like his mentor Keith LeClair. But like LeClair, Godwin also likes a joke or two.

At home plate before Saturday’s game I had the camera rolling as Godwin and Virginia coach Brian O’Connor swapped lineups with the umpires. O’Connor commented on ECU bringing media to the game. Godwin smiled and told the Virginia coach that I was really there for the basketball game that night, when UVa hosted rival North Carolina.

We all laughed, but Godwin was half right. It’s well documented that I am a huge Virginia BASKETBALL fan, dating back to the days of former ECU Director of Athletics Terry Holland’s days with the Cavaliers when I was a youngster growing up in Virginia.

What a day it turned out to be! An East Carolina baseball win and a Cavalier victory over UNC truly made for a day to remember.

In that same pregame huddle O’Connor asked about “Cliff’s Cab.” Godwin spends his Monday mornings toting students to class in an expanded golf cart to drum up support for the baseball team. O’Connor was genuinely interested and both coaches laughed about the concept.

I never heard a ground rule discussed. You see, you never know what goes on in these huddles.

Though disappointed, Godwin saw something to build on in Sunday’s loss, despite all of the miscues.

“They fight,” Godwin added. “They fight. They don’t quit. That’s what we preach all the time. Obviously, I am proud of them for coming up here and winning the series. It’s just disappointing that we had an opportunity to sweep them today and we let it slip away.”

Elon is up next, and then the Pirates welcome Southeast Louisiana, Tennessee and Maryland to town for the annual Keith LeClair Classic.

I asked about the upcoming weekend and got the answer I expected.

“Coach LeClair wouldn’t want us to be thinking about anything but Elon,” Godwin said. “That’s where our focus is, to win every inning against Elon on Wednesday.”

Coach LeClair couldn’t have said it better himself.


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04/03/2016 03:12 PM