ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
By Brian Bailey
ECU sweep honors LeClair
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I think it really meant a
lot to East Carolina coach Billy Godwin that his team played so well in
this past weekend’s Keith LeClair Classic.
If anyone has an understanding
about what LeClair meant to this ECU program, it’s Billy Godwin. Godwin
wants LeClair’s legacy to always be a part of the program. He knows what the
number 23 means to Pirate baseball, and he works hard each year to educate a
new crop of Pirates on the history of the number and the daily fight that
Coach LeClair put up in battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Godwin’s Pirates have overcome
a 1-4 start by now winning seven games in a row, including this weekend’s
three-game sweep in the LeClair Classic.
Friday’s play was washed out,
giving us what had to be the longest and windiest day in the tournament’s
history. Four games were played on Saturday, with ECU
beating Pittsburgh 10-5, and then
rallying past nationally-ranked Michigan
On Sunday, the Pirates
took care of Georgia Southern
9-3 to complete the sweep.
“With the elements and the
weather, we fought through all of that with the long day yesterday,” said
Godwin on Sunday. “I’m really proud of the effort that we gave. I thought we
played well in all aspects of the game, as well as we could. We got some
timely hits. We played good defense and we got solid pitching.”
All three starters this
weekend, Seth Maness, T.J. Hose and Justin Bristow pitched well. Each one
gave the Pirates a chance to win, and the Pirates did just that.
“I just went out there and
tried to throw strikes,” said Bristow, who gave up just two runs on four
hits in seven innings of work. “We jumped on them early and that always
gives you confidence as a pitcher, when you get runs early.”
Bristow struck out a career
best seven before giving way to Brad Mincey and Bailey Daniels.
It was especially nice to see
Daniels finally get some work. Earlier this year it was feared that Daniels
might miss the season with arm surgery. A little rest for a strained muscle
appears to be the right medicine and Daniels is now ready to go.
The Pirates will send Sthil
Sowers to the mound today when VCU comes to town. The Pirates
beat the Rams last week 7-4 in
LeClair family homecoming
It had to be an emotional
return for the LeClair family this weekend. Once again, the LeClair
children, Audrey and J.D., threw out the first pitch for the classic that
honors their father. It’s amazing how much the two children have grown from
year to year. Audrey has that great smile, and J.D. is the spitting image of
a young Keith LeClair.
I’ve often written about Lynn
LeClair and her amazing strength. She seemed very relaxed at the stadium on
Saturday. She always seems so appreciative towards East Carolina.
The LeClairs now live in South
Carolina. They’ll always, though, have a home in Greenville at East Carolina
Opportunity in Memphis
Mack McCarthy has a chance to
do something that no ECU basketball coach has ever done, and that’s to win a
game in the C-USA Tournament.
The Pirates tied their
all-time mark with five league wins this year. ECU meets Tulsa in the first
round of the tournament today at 1 p.m. in the FedEx Forum in Memphis. Tulsa
beat East Carolina in the only
meeting between the two teams this year, 66-61 back on Feb. 13 in
It should be an interesting
week regarding the bigger picture for Pirate basketball. A decision on Mack
McCarthy’s future as the program's coach should come quickly.
East Carolina athletic
director Terry Holland stated last summer that he would get through the
entire season before making a decision. He’s done just that.
Holland said he wanted to see
improvement. The Pirates are playing their best basketball, and that’s what
every coach desires.
Here’s hoping Coach Mack pulls
off an upset in Memphis, taking another step towards a full-time gig as
ECU’s basketball coach.
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04/21/2008 07:05:20 PM