ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
By Brian Bailey
Will the real ECU please
All rights reserved.
in on the radio or catch the live stream of
The Brian Bailey Show with WNCT-TV 9 Sports
Director Brian Bailey, each Monday night
from 7-8 p.m. ...
Select Live Stream...
Listen to archived Brian
including Monday night's
program with guest
Billy Godwin told me he’d
never really seen anything like it. His Pirates opened the 2008 season
by laying a big, fat egg.
South Carolina bolted out to a
16-0 lead, beating East Carolina in that first game 22-5.
It was one of the worst
performances I’ve ever had a chance to see in person. The “Bad News Pirates”
didn’t hit, didn’t field, and basically didn’t play in that first game.
T.J. Hose had one of his worst
outings ever, going only 1 1/3 innings, giving up 9 earned runs on 9 hits.
Hose knew some of the Gamecock players from his summer baseball, and was
told by them that he was tipping his pitches.
If that lineup did know what
was coming, then Hose didn’t stand a chance. South Carolina has a powerful
lineup and it held batting practice at the expense of the Pirates.
For Hose, I say it was a tough
lesson, but one that he’ll certainly never forget. T.J. Hose is a fighter, a
class kid, and a pitcher that will win plenty of games for East Carolina
The Pirates were a much
different team that night in the second game of the series. This was more
like the baseball club we all expected to see.
Credit freshman pitcher Seth
Maness for an outstanding start to his career. Maness held the Gamecock
sluggers to just three runs on five hits. He struck out five in four innings
Brandon Henderson had the big
blast in the second game. Henderson’s grand slam sent the Gamecock fans
packing. The Pirates took game two by a 13-4 final.
Game three was more like what
we all expected going into the series. The game had an NCAA feel to it, with
both teams battling through every pitch.
East Carolina jumped out to
the lead after Drew Schieber hit a two run homer.
The Pirates held that lead
until the 7th inning. That’s when Justin Smoak hit a two-run home run to
give the Gamecocks a 5-4 lead.
Smoak was the beneficiary of
several close calls on balls and strikes in that at bat. Sthil Sowers should
have gotten a strikeout before the blast. For whatever reason, all of a
sudden the strike zone turned microscopic, and Smoak took advantage of the
Still, this Pirate team fought
back. The Pirates manufactured a run in the ninth to tie. Schieber stayed
hot, leading off the frame with a double to the centerfield wall. He moved
to third on a sacrifice bunt, and then strolled home when Ryan Wood went the
other way with a ground ball.
The excitement continued until
the 11th. The Pirates took a 6-5 lead when Stephen Batts drove home a
sliding Schieber on a close play at the plate.
The Pirates, though, gave up
two runs in the bottom of the inning. South Carolina’s Kyle Enders was the
hero, knocking home two with a shot up the middle that almost took Josh
Ruhlman’s head off.
The Pirates fell 7-6 in 11
Coach Billy Godwin reflected
on the weekend.
"There is really nothing
negative I can say other than we didn't get the result we wanted," said
Godwin. "I'm real encouraged by some of things I saw. You look out there in
the last inning and we had a freshman playing short, and a freshman in left.
I think Sthil Sowers did a great job and I think Justin Bristow pitched
really well for us.
"We might not see another club
as good as this one on offense. They’ve got a great club.”
There are no moral victories,
though. Godwin made that crystal clear.
“For our guys to come in here
and battle the way they did, it makes you somewhat proud,” Godwin continued.
“But this is about results. We’ve got to go out and get results and win
Stephen Batt’s saw his hitting
streak end in that first game of the series. But red-hot Jamie Ray extended
his streak to 18 games with a big weekend.
There is great news to report
on Pirate closer Bailey Daniels. Daniels will not miss the season for “Tommy
John” surgery on his elbow. An MRI shows just a strain of the flexor muscle
in his right elbow. He’ll most likely make his 2008 debut in the LeClair
Tournament in a couple of weeks.
Outfielder Trent Ashcraft
could play at Elon this week, or he might make his debut this weekend
against Monmouth. Ashcraft dove for a ball during a scrimmage and banged up
his shoulder. The injury wasn’t serious, but did require a bit of rest.
The Pirates are at Elon on
Wednesday, and then open the home schedule this weekend with a three-game
series against Monmouth.
The jungle should be fired up
to open the year!
Send an e-mail message to
Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville
04/21/2008 07:07:43 PM