Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather

Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Friday, February 15, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Hoops Tiebreaker Policy Revealed; Time to 'Play Ball!'


Pirates Open Season Today

Forget having to wait until March. Spring begins for a baseball fan on opening day.

For East Carolina fans, that puts February 15th as the unofficial vernal equinox. The first pitch is at 3 o’clock — winter ends at 3:01.

As far as Pirate assistant coach Kevin McMullen is concerned, it's about time.

“We really need to get out and play another team,” he told me yesterday. “The guys have worked very hard, but you get to a point where you just have to play.”

McMullen has taken on a much more important role with this team, with Keith LeClair still fighting his health battle. In fact, LeClair was not at practice on Wednesday. McMullen, though, says he expects to see LeClair on Friday in the dugout.

“I’m sure he’ll find a way to be in the dugout,” McMullen said. “I don’t think anyone or anything could keep the coach away on opening day.”

Sam Narron gets the start for East Carolina today against Delaware. The Blue Hens are traditionally a power from the northern part of the country. Narron knows that this will be a good, early season test for the ball club.

“It’s great to finally get going,” said Narron. “I know that the expectations are high, but we all like that. We can have a great season, if we go out and play like we know how to.”

Narron and Will Brinson are both preseason All-Americans. While Narron gets the start in the opener, Brinson will relieve this weekend.

“We really hope that you won’t see Will at all,” said McMullen. “But that would be too good to be true. Anyway, he needs to get some work this weekend as well.”

Brinson’s role will most likely change this season. He will take one of the starting spots in the rotation, if everything goes according to plan.

“I just want to pitch,” said Brinson. “I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do, but I can’t wait to get started.”

Mother Nature also seems to know it's time to throw out the first pitch, as the afternoon outlook is for partly cloudy skies with highs in the 60s. Spring is here at East Carolina!

Hoops Tournament Explanation

One of the questions that I hear most often around town concerns East Carolina’s chances at a berth in the upcoming Conference USA postseason tournament.

The Pirates have to finish among the top 12 teams in the 14-team league, regardless of the division, to make it to the tournament.

Currently, the Pirates (3-9) have a half-game lead over DePaul (2-9), and a one game lead over Southern Miss (2-10).

ECU trails TCU (4-8) by one full game, and is behind Tulane (4-7) and UAB (4-7) by a game and a half.

The first and second round games are set for March 6-7 in Cincinnati. The match-ups for the first day are 5 vs. 12, 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9. The division champs both get a first round bye, as do the next two teams with the best records, regardless of divisions.

Coach Bill Herrion says the tournament continues to serve as a great carrot to dangle in front of his young team.

“It would mean so much for this program to make the tournament in our first year,” said Coach Bill Herrion. “Some people didn’t think we would win a game all year, but we’ve got three, and hope to get some more.

“The encouraging thing, though, is that we have been competitive in just about everyone of our league games. None of us really knew what to expect this year, but the guys have given a great effort.”

The tiebreakers can get rather complicated. The bottom line is that if two teams are tied, the regular season winner between the two gets the higher seed. With that said, DePaul owns the tiebreaker over East Carolina because the Blue Demons swept ECU.

For more on the tiebreakers, click here to check out Bonesville's newly-posted page detailing the league's revised policy on the matter.

The Pirates return home on Saturday night, hosting Birmingham Southern. The crowd for the Southern Miss game left a bit to be desired. Maybe that win, and a chance for another one, will bring out even more Pirate fans this week.

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:22:10 AM

©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.