Pirates will face Alabama in first regional game

Published 1:28 am Tuesday, May 27, 2008

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — As East Carolina’s baseball team gathered Monday in Harvey Hall at the Murphy Center to watch ESPN’s release of the NCAA Tournament field, the players were confident they would be picked to play in a regional. They just didn’t know where.
There was speculation that the Pirates would be headed anywhere from Raleigh to Tallahassee, Fla., to Lincoln, Neb.
When it was announced that ECU would be headed to Conway, S.C., the players applauded. The Pirates (40-19), earning the regional’s No. 2 seed, will take on the No. 3 seed Alabama Crimson Tide (34-26) Friday in the second game at Charles Watson Stadium’s Vrooman Field. It will be the first time the Pirates will have ever played the Tide.
The top-seed and host Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (47-12) will play the No. 4 seed Columbia Lions (22-28) in the first game.
For the second straight year, the Pirates get to play relatively close to home. ECU went 1-2 in regional play at Chapel Hill last year.
Godwin said going through the weekly grind of playing tough opponents in Conference USA will have his team well prepared for the regional tournament.
To help prepare for the tournament, Godwin had his players fill out index cards. On one side, each player wrote down what he had to do better individually to help the team. On the other side, players jotted down what the team had to do as a whole to improve.
Godwin said the coaches would look over the index cards and then plan their practices based on what the players wrote down.
The double-elimination tournament will be held Friday through Monday. The winner will be on of 16 teams to advance to the Super Regional, with the eight winners qualifying to play in the College World Series in Omaha.
Tickets for the NCAA Conway Regional will be $70 for an all-tournament pass in the reserved session, $65 for an all-tournament pass in the Bronze general admission (left field line) and $60 for an all-tournament pass in the White section (right field line). Single-game tickets are $15 in reserved and $10 in general admission.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Coastal Carolina ticket office at 1-877-4CHANTS or 843-347-TIXX.
At Charles Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field
Conway, S.C.
Friday, May 30
Game 1 — Coastal Carolina (47-12) vs. Columbia (22-28), 1 p.m.
Game 2 — East Carolina (40-19) vs. Alabama (34-26), 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 31
Game 3 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 1 p.m.
Game 4 — Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 1
Game 5 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 1 p.m.
Game 6 — Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m.
Monday, June 2
Game 7 — Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, if necessary, 1 p.m.
East Carolina Pirates
Head coach: Billy Godwin
No. 2 seed
Fifth in Conference USA
23rd NCAA appearance
Team batting average: .315
Home runs: 79
RBIs: 426
Team ERA: 3.96
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Head coach: Gary Gilmore
No. 1 seed
Big South Conference champions
Team batting average: .324
Home runs: 88
RBIs: 430
Team ERA: 3.99
Alabama Crimson Tide
Head coach: Jim Wells
No. 3 seed
Second in SEC West
Team batting average: .309
Home runs: 78
RBIs: 397
Team ERA: 5.05
Columbia Lions
Head coach: Brett Boretti
No. 4 seed
Ivy League Conference champions
Team batting average: .288
Home runs: 24
RBIs: 243
Team ERA: 6.27
Postseason History
NCAA Tournament
NCAA District 3 Playoffs
Lost to North Carolina, 8-0
Beat West Virginia, 6-5
Lost to North Carolina, 13-12
NCAA District 3 Playoffs
Lost to Florida State, 6-3
Lost to North Carolina, 7-3
NCAA District 3 Playoffs
Beat Florida State, 2-1
Lost to N.C. State, 7-5
Lost to Florida State, 3-2
NCAA District 3 Playoffs
Lost to Florida State, 2-0
Lost to Mississippi State, 12-6
NCAA District 3 Playoffs
Lost to Vanderbilt, 2-1
Lost to South Carolina, 5-1
NCAA Atlantic Regional
Columbia, S.C.
Lost to Wake Forest, 6-3
Lost to South Carolina, 4-1
NCAA Northeast Regional
Orono, Maine
Lost to Harvard, 7-3
Lost to Maine, 2-1
NCAA East Regional
Columbia, S.C.
Lost to Old Dominion, 2-1
Beat North Carolina, 1-0
Lost to West Virginia, 4-1
NCAA South Regional
Tallahassee, Fla.
Beat South Alabama, 5-4
Beat Florida State, 7-4
Lost to Miami (Fla.), 6-4
Lost to South Alabama, 18-2
NCAA Atlantic Regional
Tallahassee, Fla.
Lost to Florida State, 10-5
Lost to Central Michigan, 17-9
NCAA East Regional
Gainesville, Fla.
Lost to Florida, 11-6
Lost to Villanova, 10-6
NCAA Atlantic Regional
Miami, Fla.
Beat South Florida, 4-2
Lost to The Citadel, 8-5
Lost to N.C. State, 8-1
NCAA Midwest Regional
Wichita, Kan.
Lost to Wichita State, 10-5
Beat Rider, 6-5
Lost to Ohio State, 6-5
NCAA Atlantic Regional
Atlanta, Ga.
Lost to South Carolina, 6-5
Beat Liberty, 6-0
Lost to Ohio State, 6-2
1999 NCAA Regional
Baton Rouge, La.
* – ECU was No. 1 seed
Beat Southern, 13-2
Beat Louisiana State, 11-10
Lost to Louisiana State, 12-10
Lost to Louisiana State, 9-0
NCAA Regional
Lafayette, La.
* – ECU was No. 1 seed
Beat Marist, 12-3
Lost to Louisiana-Lafayette, 5-3
Beat Marist, 8-7
Lost to Louisiana-Lafayette, 8-5
NCAA Regional
Wilson, N.C.
* – ECU was No. 1 seed and No. 6 national seed
Beat UMBC, 7-0
Beat South Florida, 12-8
Beat Winthrop, 7-3
2001 NCAA Super Regional
Kinston, N.C.
Lost to Tennessee, 13-10
Lost to Tennessee, 6-3
NCAA Regional
Clemson, S.C.
Beat Elon, 13-7
Lost to Clemson, 4-2
Beat Georgia Southern, 7-3
Lost to Clemson, 21-1
NCAA Regional
Atlanta, Ga.
Lost to South Carolina, 4-0
Beat Georgia Tech, 10-3
Lost to Stetson, 9-4
NCAA Regional
Kinston, N.C.
* – ECU was No. 1 seed
Beat Stony Brook, 8-2
Beat UNC-Wilmington, 11-4
Beat UNC-Wilmington, 7-0
NCAA Super Regional
Columbia, S.C.
Lost to South Carolina, 4-2
Lost to South Carolina, 5-3
NCAA Regional
Tempe, Ariz.
Lost to Arizona State, 9-6
Lost to UNLV, 5-3
2007 NCAA Regional
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Beat Western Carolina, 9-8
Lost to North Carolina, 11-10
Lost to Western Carolina, 9-5
NAIA Tournament
Beat Grambling State, 9-4
Beat Omaha University, 11-3
Beat Sacramento State, 13-7
* – ECU won National Championship
NAIA District 26 Playoffs
Beat Pembroke State, 7-6
Beat Pembroke State, 6-3
Beat Pfeiffer, 6-5
Beat Pfeiffer, 4-1
NAIA Area 7 Playoffs
Beat Carson-Newman, 1-0
Beat Georgia Southern, 3-0
Lost to Georgia Southern, 11-4
Beat Georgia Southern, 3-2
NAIA National Playoffs
Lost to Grambling State, 5-4
Beat California Wesleyan, 5-0
Beat Mayville State, 3-1
Beat Winona State, 10-2
Lost to Grambling State, 7-5
* – ECU finished third in nation