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Polls: ECU drops out while Tar Heels leap in


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Pirates' Bats Muffled

According to Conference USA statistics, East Carolina's team batting average has dropped dramatically in recent games... Quick Notes from C-USA...

For East Carolina, it took only two weeks to undo almost a month's worth of poll-climbing. For North Carolina, it took a stunning sweep of the nation's No. 1 team to vault directly into the Top 25.

After spending the first several weeks of the baseball season working their way up the national rankings, the Pirates (14-6-1, 1-4-1 Conference USA) were dumped from all three polls after being swept in a three-game home series by league foe Texas Christian (12-14, 4-2).

Last week, East Carolina was 21st in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll, 20th in the BaseballAmerica Rankings and 25th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll.

The losses to TCU piled misery on top agony for the Pirates, who have managed but one win in their last seven games after reeling off 13 victories against a single defeat in the season's opening weeks. In the last two weeks, in addition to the weekend skunking by the Horned Frogs, ECU lost a home game to Old Dominion and split a series at C-USA opponent Cincinnati with a win, a tie and a defeat.

The Pirates will try to get their ship back on course starting today with a 4 p.m. game at ODU that begins a busy five-game week. The outing against the Monarchs was hastily plugged into the schedule to make up for a game that was postponed March 20 because of rain.

ECU will return home from Norfolk to host Campbell Wednesday night before hitting the road for a three-game weekend series at C-USA member UAB.

Tar Heels charge into rankings with sweep of Florida State

While East Carolina was getting the heave-ho from the polls, previously-unranked North Carolina (15-8) dramatically grabbed the voters' attention by knocking off Florida State back-to-back-to-back in Chapel Hill.

The weekend sweep vaulted UNC-CH to 20th in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll, 25th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll and 24th in the BaseballAmerica Rankings. Before getting scalped by the Tar Heels, the Seminoles were ranked 1st, 3rd and 1st in the three polls, respectively.

Clemson (18-1) replaced FSU at the top of the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll and remained No. 2 in the BaseballAmerica Rankings.

South Carolina (21-4) advanced to 3rd , 4th and 4th, while Wake Forest (19-4) was voted 8th, 9th and 11th in the three polls, respectively.

Conference USA member Houston (18-7) made the Top Ten in all three sets of rankings. The Cougars are No. 9 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll, No. 10 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll and No. 5 in the BaseballAmerica Rankings.

The new rankings were released Monday and were based on results of games through Sunday, March 24.

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02/23/2007 11:20:57 AM

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