ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
By Brian Bailey
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East Carolina officially
opens baseball practice this Friday afternoon.
Under NCAA rules, the team has
been able to get in plenty of individual work, but as far as the entire team
getting together, that begins this week.
I’ve talked to several Pirate
players in the last couple of weeks, and they are all very excited about
this year’s team.
The Pirates will open the year
ranked 24th in the Baseball America poll. It’s the first preseason ranking
for the Pirates since the 2005 season when ECU was picked 30th by the
National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and 32nd by Collegiate
This year’s team is expected
to be one of the strongest offensive clubs the school has ever produced.
Stephen Batts returns as a Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year
Preseason Watch List member.
Righthander T.J. Hose, who
will most likely be the Friday starter for the Pirates in C-USA games, is
also on that watch list.
There’s nothing like jumping
right into a season head first. The Pirates open their year at No. 2 South
Carolina on February 22nd with a three-game series.
The Pirates then play at Elon
that week, before coming home to play 16 of their next 18 games at home at
Those early season home stands
are a great tradition for Pirate baseball. East Carolina has won plenty of
games during those stretches through the years.
It may not feel like it, but
spring is just around the corner. It has to be, with baseball practice set
Mack McCarthy told me that his
East Carolina basketball team would most likely see a “J” curve at some
point this season.
That “J” came courtesy of the
“T”, and the Green Wave basketball team.
Tulane came to Williams Arena
and sent the Pirates reeling after a 72-56 Tulane win.
“For the first time in a while
I felt we took a step backwards,” said McCarthy after the loss. “I thought
they were mentally and physically tougher then we were. You saw it in how
they defended us, how they got second shots. I was pretty disappointed with
our effort tonight.”
Tulane out-rebounded the
Pirates by 13 boards. The Pirates committed 16 turnovers, while the Green
Wave had just 5. Add up those numbers, and the Pirates were really fortunate
that this wasn’t more of a blow out.
Next up, East Carolina travels
to Southern Miss on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles are 10-9
overall, 2-3 in Conference USA.
The good news is that those 10
wins include victories over William Carey, Blue Mountain and Spring Hill,
whoever those teams are!
The bad news is that
Southern Miss beat Tulane 71-54. The Golden Eagles used a 21-4 run in
the first half to beat the Green Wave in Hattiesburg.
The Pirates have just 11 games
to go, five of which are at home.
Coach Mack has all week to get
this squad ready for the trip to Mississippi. Then it’s back home for a game
against a Rice team that is really struggling.
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04/21/2008 07:08:32 PM