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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, June 8, 2005
By Brian Bailey

Draft, turnover keep baseball in the news

Ricky Brooks

Billy Richardson

Mark Minicozzi

Photos: ECU Media Relations


At first glance, I didn’t recognize the 95th player in the Major League Baseball Amateur Players Draft.

On second glance, Richard Brooks from East Carolina came into focus as Ricky Brooks.

Brooks was first drafted out of high school by the Chicago White Sox in the 11th round. This time out, his name was called in round three. The Sox took Ricky with the 95th overall.

With ECU's appearance in the Tempe regional barely off the front pages, Brooks was one of three Pirates to go in the first day of the draft.

The San Diego Padres took Billy Richardson with the 428th pick in the 14th round. During his senior year, Richardson hit four home runs, collected 48 hits and scored 44 runs in 46 games. He finished with a .308 batting average.

In a 14-0 win over Navy, Richardson hit for the cycle and pitched one complete inning of relief.

Mark Minicozzi, who led the Pirates with 48 RBI's on the season, was taken in the 17th round by the San Francisco Giants. On the season,  Minicozzi had  six home runs, 70 hits and scored 42 runs in 54 games.


Word had been leaking for some time that Randy Mazey would be looking for at least two assistant coaches in the off-season.

Alan Osborne left ECU to go back to Georgia. Tommy Eason has also departed, with destination still to be determined.

Coach Oz’s departure is at least understandable. He spent three years on the Georgia staff before coming to Greenville.

In just his second year at ECU, the Pirates put up incredible offensive numbers, setting school records in at-bats (2,277), hits (725), doubles (153), home runs (100), RBI's (481) and total bases (1,200).

No one is really commenting on the situation, including Coach Randy Mazey. For Eason to leave his alma mater, though,  tells me that something is amiss.

I still think Tommy Eason will be the next head coach at East Carolina. He is a Pirate and an eastern Carolinian from deep inside his soul.

I believe Coach Mazey will continue to win, and when he leaves, Eason should be a shoe-in.

Understandably, my calls to Eason were not returned. No one wants to burn a bridge, especially one as dear to Eason as the bridge to East Carolina.

Eason has an eight-year investment as an assistant coach at East Carolina. During his tenure with the Pirates, the team's pitching staff has produced four All-America selections, three Freshman All-America choices, and six all-conference selections.

He ranks as one of the top catchers and players in ECU baseball history. He was a two-time All-CAA selection, finishing his three-year career at ECU with a .336 batting average.

Eason also helped the Pirates gain an NCAA Regional berth in three consecutive seasons. During those seasons, ECU won at least one game at each Regional Tournament.

Mazey is now in the market for a pair of assistant coaches. His hires could mean the difference between a good season and a great one next year.

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02/23/2007 01:31:55 AM

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