ECU players excited about postseason

Published 1:29 am Tuesday, May 27, 2008

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — A long bus ride back from New Orleans following the Conference USA Tournament gave the East Carolina Pirates plenty of time to think about where they would be headed for the NCAA Tournament.
On Monday, the Pirates found out where they would be playing, along with their opponents. ECU will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide at 7 p.m. Friday in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina and Columbia also make up the regional field.
Kemp was named to the all-regional team last year after he hit .556 (5-for-9) in Chapel Hill. His three-run, pinch-hit home run helped spark ECU to a 9-8 win over Western Carolina in the first round.
Kemp, who is hitting .349 with 16 home runs and 67 RBIs this year, is hoping for a better outcome this year. The Pirates were eliminated in 2007 after losses to North Carolina and Western Carolina in the next two games.
ECU center fielder Harrison Eldridge, a C-USA First Team selection, likes the Pirates’ chances.
After going 1-2 and struggling at the plate as a club during the conference tournament, Eldridge thinks the Pirates can turn things around in time for regional play.
Senior pitcher T.J. Hose (6-4, 5.02 ERA), who was the winning pitcher in ECU’s 4-3 win over Rice during the C-USA Tournament, is anxious to play in another postseason tournament.
Hose, who has started 13 games this year, said he’d be more than willing to come out of the bullpen once again.
Seth Maness (9-1, 2.87 ERA) will likely get the start against the Crimson Tide.
First baseman Brandon Henderson, who is hitting .345 with nine homers and 47 RBIs, said the Pirates will be ready to play good baseball.