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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

By Brian Bailey

ECU in search of momentum

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with guest MIKE STEELE. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250-AM and 930-AM.

Replay Show
Pirate Radio Home Page


Bailey: ECU in search of momentum
BVL: Pirates tumble in baseball polls
O'Brien: Hoops issues go deeper than coaching
BVL: Seven teams live another day
BVL: C-USA Tourney Scoreboard
BVL: East Carolina 3, Pepperdine 2
Peele: A history with little glory
BVL: Pepperdine 10, East Carolina 3
BVL: Pepperdine 5, East Carolina 3
BVL: One and done for Pirates
BVL: Cal St.-Northridge 5, East Carolina 3
Bailey: Expect the unexpected from Holland
BVL: Pirates on the rise in polls
BVL: Search countdown begins
BVL: East Carolina 5, Western Carolina 4
BVL: McCarthy steps aside

Diamond Pirates Limp Home from West Coast Trip

After East Carolina's baseball team limped home on Sunday after going just 1-3 on the team’s West Coast road trip, you could literally hear the letdown in head coach Billy Godwin’s voice.

“We are disappointed, there’s no doubt,” said Godwin. “But we really didn’t play like we had played the first ten games of the season. I feel that we could have very easily come back 3-1 had we done some very fundamental things.

"I don’t necessarily get bent out of shape when we get beat but I do get pretty upset when we don’t play well. I don’t think we executed any phase of the game at a high level.”

Several of the Pirate starters are having trouble at the plate. Godwin says it’s not hard to figure out the reason.

“I think it’s pretty easy to tell why we’re struggling,” said Godwin. “I think it’s their approach (at the plate). We continue to swing at pitches early in the count that aren’t good pitches to swing at. I also think we’re taking pitches that we should be more aggressive on. Out pitch selection has got to improve.”

Ironically, the trip got off to a great start with Wednesday's game against Cal-State Northridge.

“Our preparation before the Cal-State Northridge game was as good as it’s been since I’ve been at East Carolina,” said Godwin. “Our BP, (batting practice) infield-outfield, our focus, it was all great. There just wasn’t any rollover.

"We got the first two hits against Northridge and I’m thinking we’re going to have a good day. Then we got just three hits the rest of the day against 27 outs.

"It seemed like we were snake bit the rest of the trip, but we have to overcome that.”

Seth Maness saved the Pirates from a possible 0-4 trip with a great performance on Saturday in ECU’s 3-2 win over Pepperdine. Maness struck out a career high 11 batters, allowing just two runs on six hits.

“The bright spot was Seth Maness,” said Godwin. “I thought he put us on his shoulders on Saturday and he had the mentality that we were not going to lose that game. That was huge at a time when we really needed a boost.”

Another bright spot is the hitting of Dustin Harrington. Harrington extended his current hitting streak to 22 games while out west. That streak is the fourth longest in school history. For the year, Harrington is hitting a team high .421. He leads the team in hits, runs, total bases and on base percentage.

East Carolina has five games this week with the home game tonight against Gardner-Webb, tomorrow's makeup game at High Point, and then the three-game series with Monmouth this weekend. Godwin has his pitching schedule set, with the exception of Sunday.

“We are going to throw Joseph Hughes on Tuesday night,” said Godwin. “Then Zach Woods will go on Wednesday. We’ll pitch Kevin Brandt on Friday and Seth Maness on Saturday. We’ll wait and see about what we do on Sunday. We may wait another week with Brad Mincey and be extra careful with him.”

Godwin knows it’s a long season and certainly isn’t ready to push the panic button yet.

“It was one weekend," he said, referring to the West Coast games. "We’ve done so many good things to start the year. We knew the first month of this season was going to be an absolute challenge. I didn’t really have a set win total out of that. I just wanted to play good baseball and we’ve done that for the most part.”

The Pirates did battle to get that win on Saturday in the series finale. Now this team hopes to parlay that victory into a lengthy winning streak.

“We now have a little momentum, after winning the last game of the trip," said Godwin. "Now let’s get back home and get going.”

The Pirates will certainly have that chance, with 14 of their next 15 games at home at Clark-LeClair Stadium.


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03/16/2010 01:47 AM


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