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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports


From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Mixed Monday bag for East Carolina baseball


It was an unbelievable good news-bad news day for Pirate baseball on Monday. And while the good news is great, the bad news is what really affects this program the most.

East Carolina's media relations office announced in a prepared statement that Davey Penny had been dismissed from the team. The term used was for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

So what does that mean? Did Penny confront Coach Mazey about issues pertaining to the team? Or was there a personality conflict between the pitcher and the coach?

The fact that Penny has had the reputation for being a devout Christian, a man of great faith, a credit to the Pirate program for three plus years, really puts a question mark on this one.

Penny had just battled back from a near-devastating injury, incurred when he took a line drive in the face against Texas Christian. He suffered three fractures in his upper jaw, a split lip and fractures of al of his sinus cavities.

But somehow, Davey Penny had enough to get back on the mound this season. To the astonishment of many, he started against UAB last Friday night.

Penny was the normal Friday night pitcher in each Conference USA weekend series — and for good reason. He was 4-3 this season with a 2.82 ERA.

His final outing as a Pirate turned out to be the start against the Blazers. He yielded four runs in four innings of work.

Mazey certainly isn’t afraid of stepping on someone’s toes. This past fall, Mazey discharged Justin Phillips and Vince Logan from the team.

Phillips was once described as “the best infielder to ever come out of Greenville” by Rose Coach Ronald Vincent, who recently set the all-time record for victories in North Carolina.

I purposely stayed away from that controversy, because the Phillips family is dear friends of mine.

I can tell you this. Justin Phillips may not be what Randy Mazey wants in a player, but the young man will be an outstanding college player somewhere. He battled an injury this year but still turned in a great first year at Louisburg.

There have been rumblings around the baseball program all season. Let’s face it, this is not an easy job. This is still Keith LeClair’s program for the most part, and the transition has been a bit tricky at times.

Norwood honored by C-USA

On the positive side, sophomore first baseman Ryan Norwood was named Conference USA player of the week this week by the league. Norwood was awesome against UAB, going 7-14 with three home runs and 9 RBI’s.

Earlier this season, in one of the promotions that East Carolina conducts each home game, my son Ryne had the opportunity to stand on the field with his favorite player for the national anthem.

He chose Norwood, mainly because they share the same nickname, “Ryno”.

Here’s hoping some of the Norwood’s offense rubs off on the little guy for the rest of the Little League season!

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02/23/2007 01:26:32 AM


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