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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Bucs brace for New Orleans gauntlet

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

Watch for more columns from Brian Bailey later this week from Turchin Stadium in New Orleans, site of the Conference USA Baseball Tournament.



Listen to archived Brian Bailey Shows, including last night's program with guests Gary Overton, Peanut Langston, Jason Mills and Ronald Vincent: Select Clip...

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Bailey: Lost weekend complicates the cause

East Carolina opens play in the Entergy Conference USA Baseball Championship with a Wednesday morning matchup against Houston.

This year's tournament is set for Turchin Stadium, the home field of the Tulane Green Wave in New Orleans.

Hopefully, the Pirates wonít bring that game three hangover from Memphis to the Big Easy. ECU dropped the third game of the series with the Tigers, after winning the first two games rather handily.

Next up is a Houston Cougars team that took two out of three from ECU in Greenville in late March. The Cougars blew out ECU in the opener 14-2, lost to the Pirates 15-4, and then took the series with an 8-5 win.

The Pirates lead the all-time series with Houston 14-8.

ECU will face lefty Wes Musik in New Orleans. Musik is 8-4 on the season with a 4.15 ERA and 72 strikeouts. Musik ran his record to 5-0 with that win in March over ECU, so he finished the remainder of the regulars season at just 3-4.

The Pirates will certainly have their work cut out for them. They will look to freshman right-hander Seth Maness to rise to the occasion.

Maness, 9-1 with a 2.79 ERA and 75 strikeouts, would become Conference USA's first 10-game winner in 2008 with a victory.

Rice is in the other half of ECU's bracket, and will most likely be the Pirates' Thursday opponent if they get past the Cougars.

Either way, the Pirates will have to beat Rice twice in order to advance to the Conference USA championship game. Thatís the advantage of the finishing at least third, taking Rice out of the equation until that title game.

Congrats to Pirate softball

Congratulations to the ladies of the smaller diamond at East Carolina. The Lady Pirates won their first ever NCAA tournament game this past weekend in the Baton Rouge Regional.

The squad was virtually shocked to get the invitation to the NCAA tournament. ECU upgraded the teamís schedule over the last couple of years, and that paid big dividends with the NCAA invitation.

Eason, Pitt fall just short

Former ECU star and assistant coach Tommy Eason fell just short of leading Pitt Community College to a berth in the NJCAA World Series.

The Bulldogs dropped two out of three at Hagerstown in the district finals. With the loss, the Bulldogs finish the season with a record of 41-15.

Coach Eason did a nice job, and Pirate fans can certainly be proud of a guy who definitely bleeds purple.

Big night for prep baseball

Itís also a busy time for the high school teams in our area. Tonight is the fourth round of the state playoffs, the Eastern semifinals.

South Central was just 9-14 on the regular season, but the Falcons have reeled off three straight wins to advance to the Eastern semis. South Central travels to rival D.H. Conley tonight in 3-A play.

The other half of the 3-A bracket features Fike against Rocky Mount.

J.H. Rose is at home at Guy Smith Stadium tonight. The Rampants are 23-3 and host Leesville Road with a berth in the Eastern finals on the line.

There are plenty of games to choose from so get out tonight and support the team in your area. Here's the lineup:


Leesville Road (17-8) at Greenville Rose (23-3)
Wilmington Hoggard (20-4) at Raleigh Sanderson (17-6)

North Davidson (23-3) at Charlotte Ardrey Kell (25-4)
Charlotte Providence (20-8) at South Caldwell (24-1)


South Central (12-14) at D.H. Conley (17-9)
Rocky Mount (22-5) at Wilson Fike (21-4)

Mooresville (21-5) at East Rowan (25-2)
South Point (18-8) at Rutherfordton-Spindale Central (24-3)


South Lenoir (22-3) at Whiteville (16-6)
Hillsborough Orange (21-3) at North Lenoir (21-1)

Starmount (16-9) at Ledford (23-6)
East Rutherford (19-8) at Lenoir Hibriten (20-5)


Princeton (16-10) at Williamston (18-7)
Hampstead Topsail (20-6) at Heidi Trask (11-13)

Bishop McGuinness (10-13) at South Stokes (21-5)
Polk County (17-5) at Cherryville (19-7)


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05/20/2008 03:21:18 AM


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