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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, Marsh 3, 2015
By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Pirates set sights on N.C. State

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

The weather has certainly thrown a curve ball at the East Carolina baseball season so far.

There has yet to be one of those “beautiful day for baseball” type days. In fact, the weather has been much more suited for duck hunting than diamond watching.

Still, the Pirates battle on and now stand over .500 for the first time this season.

East Carolina took care of business this past weekend, sweeping past Albany in the three-game series.

The Pirates completed the sweep with a 5-3 win in Sunday’s game in the worst weather conditions to date.

The game was delayed by about an hour and was played in rain all afternoon. The ‘liquid sunshine’ came down all day, from a light drizzle at times to a steady downpour.

“Today was probably the worst of the conditions because it was raining and it was cold outside,” said first-year Pirate coach Cliff Godwin. “But both teams had to play in it and we fought through it. We won and got a sweep and that was huge.”

Godwin knows he has a depth problem on this team, but I think he is turning that into a positive.

“I think the neat thing about this team is that a lot of people get to play and you never know when you’re going in the game,” Godwin explained. “A lot of people have helped us out.”

Next up on the Pirate schedule is the first of two matchups against North Carolina State. There were originally three matchups with the Wolfpack on the slate this season, but the pairing of the teams in the USA Baseball-Irish Classic was wiped out by weather this past weekend.

More than perhaps anyone, Cliff Godwin knows the importance of the matchups against the in-state schools, especially those from Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

“I mean it’s a rivalry game,” said Godwin. “For me to sit down and say that us playing N.C. State doesn’t mean anything to the people in eastern North Carolina, I’d be lying to you. It means something. I’m looking forward to it because it will bring out the best competition on both sides.”

Today's game was moved up to a 3 p.m. start because of the threat of more bad weather.

The Pirates will send right-hander Jimmy Boyd (1-1, 5.06 ERA) to the mound against Wolfpack right-hander Johnny Piedmonte (0-0, 0.00 ERA).

Luke Lowery leads the Pirates in home runs with four. Lowery agrees that this is a rivalry game that should provide a little added juice to the players.

“They’re an instate rival,” Lowery said. “We know a bunch of guys on their team and some of us like me have been playing them for three years. Last year, we split with them so this (time) we want to come out on top, but for us it’s just another game and we’re going to go out there and compete.”

It’s the start of a five-game week for East Carolina. Old Dominion is set to come to Greenville on Wednesday and Monmouth is due in town for a three-game series starting Friday.

All of this, of course, is WEATHER PERMITTING.

Godwin looks forward to making his first road trip as the ECU coach. He also took time out to reminisce about Tuesday’s opponent.

“I told Coach (Elliott) Avent on the phone that my last at bat ever on Harrington field was a home run on senior night against N.C. State,” said Godwin. “It’s a very good memory, but no, it was always a very hard fought game and very competitive always.”

Now Godwin looks to make more memories against the Wolfpack starting tonight.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

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