From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Sweep sets stage for stretch run

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 Pirate Radio Network color commentator and former ECU baseball coach Gary Overton (right): Replay show...

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Next: ECU at North Carolina

Tuesday, 6 pm

View ECU's full schedule on



Juco All-American plugs gap at QB

Flint Minshew was a hulking nose tackle during his playing days at NCAA Division III Millsaps College, where he’s a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame. ... More from Sammy Batten...

Thumbnail sketches: Class of 2017 | Class of 2016



ECU working on two recruiting crops

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East Carolina is having ongoing success luring talent to both its 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes. Decorated junior college quarterback Gardner Minshew (left) and Cal-Berkeley graduate transfer running back Jeffrey Coprich (middle) will be eligible to play for the Pirates this fall, while Ohio prep lineman John Spellacy (right) is the most recent addition to the recruiting class of 2017.

Thumbnail sketches: Class of 2017 | Class of 2016



Williams-Sutton, Wolfe power sweep

STORRS, CT — Dwanya Williams-Sutton hit a three-run homer and Jacob Wolfe pitched the first complete game of his career as East Carolina completed a three-game American Athletic Conference sweep at Connecticut with a 3-2 win Sunday. ... More...

Next: ECU at North Carolina | Tuesday, 6 pm



Varner finishes one-under

CHARLOTTE — Harold Varner III shot an even-par 72 for the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow on Sunday. The former East Carolina golfer finished at one-under par 287, which put him in a four-way tie for 24th. ... More from Al Myatt...



Varner at one-under after 54 holes

CHARLOTTE — Former East Carolina golfer Harold Varner III shot a two-over par 74 on Saturday for a 54-hole total of 215 in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow. Varner was in a tie for 19th with 16 other players, including Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson ... More from Al Myatt...



Pirates take pair at UConn

STORRS, CT — East Carolina took a 4-3 win over Connecticut on Saturday in a game that was suspended on Friday and followed up by downing the Huskies 11-9 in Saturday's regularly-scheduled contest. ... More...



Varner at three-under in Wells Fargo

CHARLOTTE — Former East Carolina golfer Harold Varner III birdied all four of the par fives at Quail Hollow on Friday after a bogey on the 483-yard par four fourth hole as he shot 69 for the second round. ... More from Al Myatt...



Day games at UConn

Al MyattConnecticut's J.O. Christian Field is sort of the Wrigley Field of yesteryear among college baseball facilities. There are no lights so the series opener for East Carolina and the Huskies is at 3 p.m. today. ... More from Al Myatt...


By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


East Carolina coach Cliff Godwin said his team would play even better when exams ended.

It’s all baseball now, and the Pirates opened this new stage of the year with three huge conference wins at Connecticut.

It’s known as the self-fulfilling prophecy. Godwin says it and the players adapt to it. We saw it first-hand last year in the American Athletic Conference tournament. We got a glimpse of it this past weekend in Storrs, CT.

The Pirates swept the series, their first in American play this season. It certainly wasn’t without challenges, but this East Carolina team wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It's never easy with us,” said Godwin with a grin. “Even when we have a four-run lead in the ninth we'll get the tying run to third base.”

Godwin was quick to hand out praise, because the ultimate goal is to win.

The Pirates did just that, times three.

“Our guys, when they had to, really pitched in the clutch,” Godwin added. “We got big at bats in the clutch. Kruczynski was awesome. Joe Ingle was awesome in the first two games. Jacob Wolfe was unbelievable, being able to throw a complete game with our bullpen depleted.

"And Dwanya Williams-Sutton was a beast with two home runs in two games and yesterday's three-run homer, which was the only three runs we got.”

Next up is the rematch with North Carolina. The Tar Heels put it to the Pirates, 17-4, back on March 15 in Greenville. Godwin hopes his club remembers that loss.

“If they don’t say, ‘I hope we have a better showing than last time,’ then we need to have a serious talk with them,” said Godwin. “I think it means something to them. Obviously it means a lot to our fans. It means something to me because it’s North Carolina versus East Carolina. As a player we always got fired up to play North Carolina. I hope our guys do.

"It’s not going to make or break our season but it is a rivalry and we want to be considered as one of the top baseball programs in North Carolina and we’ll need to play well tomorrow night in order to beat them.”

Win or lose against the Tar Heels, the Pirates have sights set on the AAC regular season title and the top seed in the upcoming tournament. The Pirates trail Tulane in the standings, and the Green Wave own the tiebreaker after winning the series against ECU.

“We are in good position,” said Godwin. “We still need to play well. Tulane is playing unbelievable right now and they have the tiebreaker against us, so we’ll need to play well all the way through. Our goals are right there. We talked about winning the conference and with six games to play we are in striking distance. But, we’ll need to play well.”

The Pirates will have to play well and get some help. East Carolina finishes with South Florida at home and Central Florida on the road. Tulane has Memphis at home, and then travels to preseason favorite Houston. The Cougars may not have the great record, but they do have a couple of premier arms that can beat any team in the country.

But first it’s the Tar Heels, and then the Pirates will focus back in on the race in the American.


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05/10/2016 03:39 AM