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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Lost weekend complicates the cause

By Brian Bailey
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With a strong RPI, all is not lost for East Carolina to possibly host an NCAA baseball regional.

Tulane’s sweep of the Pirates in Greenville, though, certainly damaged the cause.

Tulane was simply the better team last weekend. The Green Wave got all of the timely hits, made all of the defensive plays, and, in the end, swept three key games from ECU.

“We just got outplayed,” said third-year coach Billy Godwin. “We got out-pitched, out-hit, and they played better defense. That’s disappointing at home, with what was on the line. I’m sure our players are as disappointed as I am.”

What started as a promising weekend quickly headed south. Tulane ace Shooter Hunt was better then advertised. The Pirates made a nice rally once Hunt was out of the game, but that rally fell short.

Because of the threat of storms on Sunday, the Pirates and Green Wave played a long doubleheader on Saturday. A pair of 10-8 losses ensued, and the weekend was lost.

“A lot of things went wrong,” said ECU outfielder Harrison Eldridge. “We can’t place blame on one thing. We got a couple of runs when we needed to, but we made a couple of errors, our pitching wasn’t there, our hitting wasn’t there. We battled hard, but Tulane has a great team and things just didn’t go the way that we wanted them to.”

Even with the losses, there is still plenty of baseball to be played. The Pirates host UNC-Wilmington tonight. Beating the Seahawks for a third straight time certainly won’t be easy.

The Pirates then head to Memphis to start a two-week road trip. ECU will play the Tigers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and then head to New Orleans to get ready for the Conference USA tournament.

“We’ve still got baseball to play,” said Godwin. “We still have goals we can reach. We just have to regroup. We can’t look back.”

Softball surprise

A funny thing happened to the ECU softball team after all of the equipment was put away for the season.

The Pirates got an invitation to the big dance. East Carolina will play in the Baton Rouge regional in the NCAA softball championships. ECU will open with nationally-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette.

It was more then unexpected. The was no party to check out the pairings. The was no “what if” meeting scheduled that night.

When the pairings came out, the players were called to an emergency meeting to get the news. Some thought it was a joke. Others dared to hope. The news, though, was real. The Pirates were headed to LSU.

“I was so excited,” said ECU’s Charina Sumner. “I didn’t know what to do. All I could do was yell and hug everybody. It was just really exciting. We had a tough schedule, but it was still a real shocker that we made the regionals.”

“As a team, we had pretty much settled with our season ending at the tournament in Houston,” said senior Stacey Andrews. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but we have been on an upswing in our last couple of series. We’ll give it all we have and we’ll never give up.”

The Pirates begin play in the Baton Rouge regional on Friday night.

Pitt performs in postseason

Former ECU standout and assistant coach Tommy Eason guided Pitt Community College to the Region X title this past weekend.

Pitt lost in its opener to USC-Salkehatchie by a 10-2 score on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs then rattled off six straight victories to take the title. The last two came against rival Louisburg.

The championship victory was Eason’s 100th coaching win at PCC.

Eason said his players had a different attitude after that first loss.

“Our guys then came out and played with no fear,” said Eason. “We had our backs against the wall and there was a lot of intensity the next day to prove that we were better then that. It was probably the most unbelievable experience that I’ve had in baseball.”

Pitt will travel to play in a best of three series in the NJCAA Division I Eastern District tournament this weekend. A win there sends Pitt to Grand Junction and the Junior College World Series.


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05/13/2008 01:08:19 AM


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