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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
By Brian Bailey

Challenges about to get bigger for 11-3 Bucs


Sunday hasn't been all that kind to East Carolina’s baseball team to date. The Pirates are off to an 11-3 start, but all three losses have come on Sunday.

Replay the archive of Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with guest Tommy Eason, former ECU baseball player and assistant coach and current head coach at Pitt Community College.

Select clip

That had to be going through ECU coach Billy Godwin’s mind this past Sunday, when Stony Brook plated a run in the top of the 11th inning to take a 3-2 lead in the game.

This time, though, the Pirates were up to the task. East Carolina scored the game winner in the bottom of the frame on a bases loaded walk, ending the Sunday jinx.

Perhaps it was the black jerseys, which I really think look sharp. Regardless, the Sunday hex is now a thing of the past.

“The first sweep of the year is awfully nice,” said Godwin after the 4-3 win. “Hopefully, this gets rid of our Sunday jinx which we’ve had to start the year. We’re just real proud of our club and how they played.”

Drew Schieber had the game-tying hit in the eleventh inning. Shieber said the win was important for this squad.

“It’s huge,” said Schieber. “We’ve gone out the last three Sundays and haven’t been able to close it out. It’s just a big step in our season to get us ready for Cal State.”

Schieber was referring to the Pirates' upcoming weekend series at traditional powerhouse Cal State-Fullerton.

Godwin doesn’t seem fazed that his team’s pitching is certainly ahead of the hitting.

“We have a way to make it interesting,” Godwin said. “We’ve done that all year. I was really proud of our players and the way we came back, especially during the 11th inning. It showed some character and we came up with some big hits.

"Wins like this build character and help make us believe the when we’re down, we still have a shot to come back and beat anybody.”

East Carolina hosts North Carolina A&T Wednesday to wrap up what should be a 12-3 homestand to start the 2006 season. But then the schedule stiffens a bit.

After returning home from playing three games against 7th-ranked Cal State-Fullerton on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Pirates venture back out on the road for a rematch with UNC-Wilmington.

Marist comes to town for three games, and then it’s the third meeting of the year and second at home against the Seahawks.

That’s followed by a trip to Conference USA power Rice for three games and then a visit to North Carolina State.

Godwin’s first Pirate team is off to a good start. The first year skipper, though, will know much more about his team by the end of March.

The view from the bottom

The good news is that the East Carolina basketball team will be allowed to compete in the C-USA tournament this year. The bad news is that all 12 teams in the league head to Memphis for the postseason event this year and the Pirates are the bottom seed.

East Carolina takes on Central Florida in the late game on Wednesday.

Conference USA announced its all-conference team on Monday. ECU’s Corey Rouse was selected to the second team. Had the Pirates won a few more games, I believe Rouse would have made the first team.

The first team consisted of Morris Almond from Rice, Memphis star Rodney Carney, “Squeaky” Johnson from UAB, John Tofi from Texas-El Paso and Darius Washington from the top-seeded Tigers.

Should the Pirates pull the upset on Wednesday, they would move on to take on 4th seed Houston in the late game on Thursday.

Hot start for Eason and PCC

Former East Carolina assistant coach Tommy Eason has Pitt Community College off to a 10-1 start this season.

Pitt outscored Wilkes Community College 35-10 in a four-game sweep this past weekend.

“We’re obviously pleased with the start,” said Eason. “We have a lot of athletic talent on our team. We’re getting better each day as baseball players. As the competition gets stiffer, we’ll see if we can continue to improve and keep winning.”

Eason was my guest Monday night on my weekly show on Talk 1070 and Cable 7. (Replay audio archive.)

Pitt plays at Lenoir Community College on Wednesday, and then travels to Rockingham Community College this weekend for a four game series.

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

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

02/23/2007 01:33:33 AM


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