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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Mother Nature stars at spring game

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


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Bailey: Mother Nature stars at spring game
BVL Box Score: East Carolina 5, Marshall 3
BVL Box Score: East Carolina 4, Marshall 3
BVL Box Score: East Carolina 7, Marshall 4
Bradsher: Young bloods getting their chance
Myatt: Sad song in home of the blues
Gold: And there it went.
BVL Box Score: East Carolina 12, Elon 7
BVL Box Score: East Carolina 4, ODU 2
Bailey: Holtz looking for a few good leaders
BVL Box Score: East Carolina 11, USM 3
BVL Box Score: East Carolina 4, USM 2
BVL Box Score: USM 6, East Carolina 5 (13)
Myatt: Part Two: Spring football tour

All I could think about was what happened to the Georgia Dome during the SEC Basketball Tournament this year.

Tornados ripped through the downtown Atlanta area that night, ripping apart the dome in a couple of sections. The tournament had to be moved to Georgia Tech because of all the damage.

So when the text alert came during the Purple-Gold football game on Saturday saying that there was a tornado warning for Pitt County I knew that action had to come quickly. Several at East Carolina received similar messages, and within minutes the crowd was directed to Minges Coliseum to take shelter.

It was lucky for all of us that the weather really didn’t cause any problems at all. In fact, if Coach Skip Holtz and his staff knew that the storms would move on so quickly, there probably would have been a second half of football.

Holtz was obviously disappointed with how things ended.

“I hate to end spring that way,” said Holtz. “Especially when you walk back outside, and it looks like it’s breaking and clearing. I know there’s another storm coming in. I hated to end it that way because we only have three of these scrimmages.”

Both quarterbacks played well in that first half of football. Rob Kass completed eight-of-14 passes for 95 yards to lead East Carolina, and Patrick Pinkney was 7-of-14 for 80 yards and a touchdown for the Pirates.

Pinkney hit red shirt freshman Darryl Freeney with a 38-yard scoring strike for the only touchdown of the game.

Pinkney will enter camp as the top quarterback on the depth chart.

“I think Patrick Pinkney’s ability to run around with his feet on third down is a real weapon,” said Holtz. “We’ll check out the film and make some other decisions with a lot of things.”

If there was a negative to the spring, Holtz says that he has yet to find the leadership that this team will need against a brutal start to the schedule this fall.

“I don’t think it’s because of a lack of will, desire or want to, but when you take the number of players we had out, it’s very hard to put the big picture together,” Holtz explained. “I think it’s going to be critical that we have a phenomenal summer and fall camp. I think it’s going to put a lot of pressure on this team to play the caliber of opponent we start the season with."

The Pirates open the year in Charlotte against Virginia Tech.

Drama for Pirate baseball

East Carolina’s Diamond Pirates swept through a perfect week. ECU beat Old Dominion, Elon and then swept Marshall in a three-game series.

The Pirates beat the Monarchs on a Jamie Ray pinch-hit homer, came from behind to roll past Elon late, and then had walk-off wins in games two and three with the Thundering Herd.

On Saturday night, Ray came to the rescue with another clutch pinch-hit, a double off the left field wall to score the game-winner in a 4-3 Pirate win.

On Sunday, ECU trailed most of the way. Marshall clung to a 3-1 lead in the 8th, when Kyle Roller hit a home run to cut the lead to a single run.

In the 9th, Harrison Eldridge hit a triple with one out. He scored on a Ryan Wood single to tie the game at 3-3.

With two out, Corey Kemp took a two-strike pitch and deposited it over the left field wall for another walk-off Pirate victory.

Kemp arrived back at home plate with a huge smile to start the celebration.

“I just (thank) the Lord for giving me the strength to stick with it,” said Kemp, out of breath after taking a couple of leaps into the jungle in the outfield as he celebrated with the fans.

“I had a rough day before that,” Kemp continued. “He threw a slider in earlier in the at bat and I took it for a strike. It was tough but I guess I did enough to fight it off and hit it into left. I guess Mr. Wind helped me again!"

For head coach Billy Godwin, his club’s seventh win in a row was perhaps the toughest to get.

“I thought we came out a little flat,” said Godwin. “Maybe you credit their pitcher. Whatever it was we hung in there and won it in the end.”

“We talked about this being ‘Separation Sunday,’ added Godwin. "We knew if we could get the sweep we could position ourselves for a big weekend series next week at Rice.”

First up, though, it’s an N.C. State team that has had the Pirates number of late.

“We really want to go there and show everyone that we can beat N.C. State and that we can certainly play with any team in the ACC,” said Harrison Eldridge. “We certainly know that we have something to prove.”

Last week was a big week for Pirate baseball. This week is even bigger.

These next six days will go a long way in determining if the Pirates can host an NCAA regional in college baseball’s post season party!


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04/21/2008 07:08:43 PM


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